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turncheekIt’s a rainy morning in the Northeast, the kind of dark day that seems to warrant climbing back into bed for awhile in order to get up the energy to face what awaits…If that weren’t challenge enough, Jesus has some tough words today that have the same effect on me as the weather (LK 6:27-38)! It’s not enough that he says, judge not that you may not be judged. (I’ve been working on that one for a very long time!) Here are the challenges that can cause a person to cringe:To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

But then I think, “Wait a minute! I don’t think I can say that I hate anyone and I’m hoping that people aren’t going around cursing me. I am certainly not being mistreated.” But hold on…Jesus pushes even further for people who can slide through the first part unscathed. He says:

To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours, do not demand it back. For if you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you?

The text goes on but there’s enough there to outlast all the rain that could possibly fall today. May there be enough honesty in me to approach the last question with an open heart and an intention to see God anew in each person that I meet, so I’ll move toward the love that is required of seekers of this loving God.