“If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”
My daughter showed me what this verse from Romans meant tonight. After a mini “Dora the Explorer” marathon, we went to wash dishes. And as we were washing dishes, she told me that Swiper needed a drink of water. And that he needed something to eat. And that he needed to go potty.
If you’re not familiar with “Dora,” as I wasn’t two weeks ago, Swiper is a fox, and he’s always trying to take things from Dora and her friends. (Say it with me, “Swiper, no swiping!”)
He seems to be the most memorable “Dora” character to Isabelle. She even wanted him to come brush his teeth with her as she got ready for bed tonight. I had to tell her that Swiper went home.
I don’t expect that a 2-year-old understands what “swiping” is or why it’s bad, but the lesson still resonated with me. She wanted to offer food and drink and shelter to a fox with a bad reputation. Me? I only wish I had that inclination.
Isabelle doesn’t know yet about enemies. She only has friends. I don’t have many known enemies. Last week in church, we talked about the “Who is my neighbor?” question asked as a lead-in to the parable of the Good Samaritan. I think it’s interesting that we don’t have to ask that question about our enemies. If God tells us to love our enemies, at least one face or name probably comes to mind.
I just finished reading Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz.” (I know, I’m behind the curve for popular Christian literature.) So much of what he writes was stuff I should know but needed to hear in a new way, or stuff I think or do but am too afraid to admit. Anyway, he talked some about wanting Christian spirituality to rid his life of hate. And how he loved people who some Christians can’t imagine loving — liberals, homosexuals, hippies, Democrats.
Maybe it’s not always enemies we need to show kindness to, but people outside of our social, political and economic circles.