"But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"
I remember reading this scripture for one of the many tasks in my Young Women Personal Progress and thinking,
"That sounds impossible."
Turns out my mom thought I should just make the impossible possible, because she wrote this scripture down along with the words,
"Seriously pray for someone you struggle getting along with for one month."
I'm pretty sure my magical, little pamphlet said I only had to do it for one week but my mom decided on one month. Oh joy. She probably figured this would be a good way for me to figure out how to get along with a certain girl at school that was really frustrating me. Just plain getting on my nerves actually.
Seriously, there aren't many people I don't get along with. I like the majority of the human race that I've met. But I just had issues with this girl. For some reason that I have yet to discover, she just wasn't fond of me. Once upon a time, I had tried being her friend. She didn't want anything to do with me. I figured that out after several dramatic experiences later. So easy to say, she didn't like me. And I'd grown to not be too crazy about her either.
I knew I would be praying for this person for the next month. There weren't any other people I could think of that I would describe as my enemies.
So I did it. Not very sincerely at first. I would pray for her in the morning (because I had to) and as I brushed my teeth, I would stare at that stupid paper on the mirror and want to tear it down. But as the month went on, I started to take the task more seriously. I found myself praying that I could understand her and be blessed with patience for her. Then I started to see her not as the brat I'd seen her as in years past, but as a girl with low confidence. She was just a girl trying to be perfect for her parents and struggling to have any close friends. I started to feel bad for her. I even stuck up for her a couple times when other girls were talking rudely about her. Needless to say, she still didn't like me. But that was ok. That didn't matter to me so much anymore. I had discovered her reasons for being such a mean girl. And I felt bad for her.
I wish this story had a happy ending where I became best friends with this girl, but it's not one of those stories.
I honestly can't even say I grew to like the girl.
But I can say, I learned to understand her.
It's much easier to learn to love a person if you can understand the reasons they are the way they are.
Yesterday, Brian and I listened to The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack on our way to Logan from my house. I wish I could say I picked it out. But I didn't, he picked the cd out all on his own. I love The Phantom of the Opera though. I will never forget seeing it on Broadway. I felt like a little girl that had just gotten a pony for my birthday. I never got a pony for my birthday by the way. If parents do really get their little girl a pony, they better realize they might end up raising a girl that everyone thinks of when they read Matthew 5:44. Just sayin.
We're on our way to Phantom. Just roamin around NYC. :)
I always feel so bad for the Phantom though. Yes, he's a creep. I know. . .he brainwashed Christine just a little bit. Ok, a lot. He just has strange ways of showing his love for her. Because no one ever taught him how to love. He was hated and despised as a child. He was never a child that was held in a warm embrace. No one ever read him a good night story, tucked him in, and kissed him on the head. We would all be creeps too if we were treated the way people treated the Phantom. He has lots of problems that he tries hiding behind his mask.
I know it's hard to do, but I'm going to try harder to understand people that frustrate me. You never know what the person next to you is going through. They could just happen to be having the very worst day of their life. You never know. They could be hiding all kinds of bruises and hurts behind a mask. Maybe they just need some love, and they'll realize they don't need to hide behind a silly mask after all.