So, to my 'enemy.' I was recently contacted via Facebook by someone who I considered a friend at one low point in my life. (Stupid Facebook!) I had managed to avoid him for many years and was quite happy that way. Then a few weeks after I signed up with Facebook he invited me to be his 'friend.' It was a no-brainer, I clicked deny right away.
It doesn't really matter what he did, he was just someone who didn't treat me with much respect. Even though I wasn't walking with the Lord at the time, I always had a feeling of deep distrust for him. For a couple of years I ignored my gut instinct, that told me something was not right with this person. I did this because it was to my benefit to hangout with him, he had a car and I didn't. That choice is my responsibility. After I chose to end our friendship, he would take pleasure in making me uncomfortable when he saw me. Looking back, as a maturing(one can hope?) Christian, it looks like bit like demonic influence it me. ( I feel nuts just typing that, but...)
My sister, some distant cousins, and friends did not deny his Facebook invitations and so he has been able to see who I have contact with. Stupid Facebook! Through my sister I learned that he is seriously ill; his kidneys are failing probably from a combination of poorly managed type 1 diabetes and drug use. He's been given 2-3 years to live on dialysis. This news did give me pause; was I too harsh to deny him contact with me? I did feel like a jerk, but when I thought about the poisonous influence he had on me, I didn't want to invite that back in.
Yesterday I get this email from him on Facebook and I was mad! Stupid Facebook! Assuming he hasn't fundamentally changed in 15 years, I think the email was full of the same melodrama and attempts to manipulate. He talked about how he was trying to contact old friends since he was "going home soon" and how I had been so important to him, and how he loved me. He said he understood that I might not want to talk with him again, but that we'd see each other later "on the streets of gold." You might get excited and think oh, maybe he's a believer now. Maybe. But knowing him as I did and seeing the things he says about himself on his Facebook page; well I see no evidence. I certainly could be wrong.
My sister patiently listened to me rant about him yesterday on the phone and said somethings that got me thinking. Primarily that I should consider writing him back, if only to make my peace with it. I mulled this over while driving to her place and I think God gave me a solution. I will write him back but I will not give him a list of ancient grievances, after all what will that solve? It might make me feel better for an instant, but it certainly wouldn't draw him closer to God, whom I assume he (still) desperately needs. What I will do is give him the gospel. I will tell him that if he has questions about Christ, I'm available. If he wants to go to church, I'm available. (groan) If he asks for prayer, I'm available.
So please pray for me, that I put aside my bitterness, that I write the words God knows he needs to hear, and that I allow the Holy Spirit to speak through me. Please also pray that his heart is open to the truth that could literally save his life.
I checked Matthew 5:44 again and it still says:
But I tell you,
love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven.
***Why don't babies understand that you can't feed them when they have their thumb in their mouths? Maureen, your sister wasn't nearly as messy an eater. I'm just saying...