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Editorial – Praying for Enemies Requires Practice

pen point rita 01MADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/22/13) – There is a song that a couple sings at my home church that lifts my spirit to higher ground.
 
As I close my eyes and wrap my ears around the words, I feel like I'm floating a couple inches off my pew.
 
I had never heard "God Walks the Dark Hills" before my friends sang it at church but I believe it's an old song. He, with his baritone vocals and flat top guitar, and she, with her perfect-pitch harmony, blend into an audible memory that I will always cherish.
 
The song came to mind as I received a text message prayer request from a friend recently.
 
And, I do believe that my silent prayer was joined by the others that she messaged and were delivered to the portals of heaven and heard by our Lord.
 
It boggles my small brain to try to comprehend how God sorts through His children's' messages, but I know He does. He hears our prayers and our songs to Him and He reacts to them.
 
At my lowest times, I have envisioned Jesus beseeching the Father to forgive me one more time. I've visualized Him looking down on me, then turning to say, "Father, please give her another chance. She's going to change."
 
Everyone has a vice and mine seems to be my mouth or rather the choice of words that come out of it.
 
Once they're spoken, they can't be taken back. They can pierce a heart. They damage the pride. They can wound beyond repair. Angry words I've spoken represent my deepest regrets.
 
I've said wrong when I could have said right. I've hurt when I could have lifted up. I stumbled when I should have stood. How can God still love me?
 
And yet, He does.
 
He walked the dark hills before I did. He knows what it is to be human and yet forgives with the heart of the Divine.
 
Angry words wound the heart. While the wounds do heal, the scars remain as an ever present reminder of that pain.
 
Ever been stung by someone laughing straight in your face at your heart's deepest dream? Ever heard whispers from behind your back? Giggles? Yes, it hurts.
 
It's common to want revenge in the same manner, but it's not right. It's less common and more divine to forgive instead. Isn't that what we're supposed to strive for, to be more like Him?
 
I haven't totally mastered the virtue of praying for my enemies and I've been practicing for a long time.
 
But I know that when God walked among us, He walked a very dark hill as others mocked Him. He could have swept their molecules from the face of the earth with a single thought. But instead, He chose to pardon us of that wickedness.
 
I still don't know how to forgive like that, but He walked the dark hills to show me the way.  
 
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News

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Posted on 2/2/14
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