Saul, breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, was approaching Damascus. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” … Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing…. Ananias laid his hands on Saul and said, “…Be filled with the Holy Spirit.”…. And something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored…. and he began to proclaim Jesus….
— from Acts 9. 1-20
Beloved, Living, Eternal Presence—
I confess that I make enemies. I judge people, blinding myself to them, treating them not as persons, but as figments of my judgment. I make them into a symbol of what I dread or despise, an embodiment of a fear or memory, a stereotype of something within me that I dislike. Not an individual, not your beloved. But you, O Suffering One, O Holy Despised One, you are my victim. Open my eyes. Let me see you in my victim, my enemy. Let me hear your voice in them. Blind me to my old ways of seeing. Let me be helpless in my separation from others. Cast me onto the care of others. Let me discover that I am one with my enemy. Let me be re-made by being forgiven by those whom I persecute. God of Truth, let the scales fall from my eyes, that by your Holy Spirit I may see with reverence and proclaim your love. By your love, may I not oppose my enemies, but tend your lambs.
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