Love Your Enemies and Pray...

St. Oran's Chapel on Iona
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."
But I say to you,
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 
so that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.

Stone circle path on Iona
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Loch Staonaig on Iona
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing  than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

The northwest Shore of Iona
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5: 43-48

What a difficult week.
~ a dear friend was a photographer at the Boston Marathon and was only 200 feet from where one of the bombs went off.  How grateful I am that she was safe and unharmed though very shaken by the events.
~ How saddened I am that these two young men were filled with such hurt, anger and hatred that their response was to inflict such injury on so many.
~ How saddened I am to see that so many have so much hatred and anger in return.  While I am grateful that these terrible events have come to a conclusion, I wonder how the hatred I hear being expressed is any better than the hatred expressed by the bombers.

I am reminded of Matthew 5:22, which says:
"I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'you fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire."

The photos are from my time on Iona this past summer.  When I crave peace, I think back to the deep blue waters and the crisp greens of the grass and the white soft sands, the wind from across the broad ocean, the stillness in St. Oran's Chapel.  My heart felt a peace on Iona that I've rarely experienced anywhere else.

It is my hope that these photos and words bring each of you a few moments of peace in a difficult world, that rather than focusing on our own pain and anger, we are able to find our way forward with love in our hearts, even for those who cause so much pain and suffering.

Blessings and Peace to all.  


Nancy said…
Beautiful photos do inspire peace, and the scripture you chose is perfect. Blessings of peace to you also!
Thank you Lisa, beautiful.
Terri said…
Very moving post! Thanks!
Anonymous said…
Always good to be reminded how we need to respond when we feel so violated. Thanks for taking the time to post this most needed reminder.
Mom E. said…
I am grateful that the Lord doesn't just give us commandments to obey. He offers us assistance to obey, and then blesses us again when we suceed with His help....He gives us commandments so He can bless us for obedience. Pretty Wonderful Father we've all got...
Hugs to you, and prayers for us all.
Laurie said…
Thank-you Lisa, it's so hard in times like this to focus on God's truth. I too, needed this reminder. Bless you.
suz said…
Thank you Lisa, for such wonderful thoughts. I work in Boston and my son lives down here. Needless to say, last week was very stressful.
welltraveled said…
We are blessed that Heide is safe.This is one of my favorite posts of yours
Linda Jo said…
Beautiful post. My friend crossed the finish line 30 min before the first bomb. And one bomb went off in front of her she was locked out that thankful she is safe. We must love one another.

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