Not Loving My Neighbor

Bill Murphy  2021

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.  For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.   Matthew 5:43-48 

I’ve been a church goer since birth, and a Christian since I was knee high to a grasshopper… but there was a time in my life when I chose to turn a blind eye toward this all to familiar verse.

It began in 5th grade at George Elementary on Winter I do believe.  There was a boy in my class named J. D. Hudson, and he and I seemed to be in a constant clash.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but if I’ve ever ‘hated’ anyone in my life, it was J. D.  I you are reading this now, J. D., I pray that you will forgive me.  I’m long over my dis-like of you, I promise.  But I do confess, that I harbored that grudge for far too long!  And perhaps, that was my gravest sin!

J. D. had become such a bitter taste to me, that this emotional dislike actually became a part of my life… and this was a very shameful and troubling part of me!  I tried for years to simple ignore it, but without success.  Why could I not simply let it go?  It wasn’t as if the boy had killed my little sister, or maimed my mother or father… nor did he even kick my dog!  It was just oil verses water gone too far on my part!

Many years ago, some how, God in His mercy helped me to clean those nasty cobwebs out of my soul.  It felt so good to have that cancer melt away!  It was a blemish on my psyche that I’d created on my own, and somehow allowed to exist for too many years… a scar that, praise God, is no long there!  Oh how I hope that J. D. Reads this.  I hope that he’s doing well now, and has prospered all these years, and that he’s somehow forgiven me for my stupid grudge against him.  J. D., I am truly sorry!  I am.