But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you ~ Matthew 5:44
For me this week, that was too much for the Lord to ask of me for it has been a week of struggle, tiredness, dryness of spirit. The scent of jasmines, white and wild, did not touch my spirit, nor did the gold of sun rays through green boughs. The hurt of accusations and unjust, selfish demands placed on all the members of my work organization weighed far more than anything else. I hurt for myself, and I hurt for others. With every word my superiors pronounced upon us, I saw shoulders stoop more. I saw anger in tightening features. I saw the light dim in many eyes. No chance to pause and draw breath, to cry a little and heal. Others waiting for us. Others leaning on us. The journey set before us still be to traversed.
And yet, I wished there was some place I could retreat to. Not for long, not forever. Just a wee while. Somewhere hidden in the tangles of wild. Away from explanations. Away from demands. Just to rest and find myself. Some place where roses bloomed differently; where music was the wind in the grasses, the buzz of brown bees.
But there was none. No such place. No time. The clock ticked on.
The anger and hurt bore down stronger. Frustration welled and swelled. Within me. Within others. Like a bitter flame, in a short while, it seared and burned up what little pools of charity and compassion I had in me for those who persecuted us.
And then, in the midst of that burn, a memory came :
…..golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints. ~ Revelations 5:8
Pray …..Not anger…. not in revenge…. Pray them to Me
But I didn’t have an ounce of charity left in me to pray for my enemies. I chaffed against the Lord’s call. I didn’t want to lift my enemies to heaven. I wanted them anywhere BUT in heaven!
A whisper touched my soul….Place them in bowls… and lift them to heaven.
And so I have. Laid out the bowls in my mind’s eye. Four in a row. Earthen bowls, for I am no saint, and my prayer no incense. Everyone who has hurt me and others, I placed in bowls. One for each. Floated them on prayer, towards Heaven.