"Yeah, it's a nice reading." And then I forget about it. But today, it spoke to me an a whole new level. Here's what it says.
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
And this reading struck me because this is what we are called to do. Share with those in need. Live in harmony with one another. It's so easy, and I am guilty of this myself, to simply believe it's just something to read and then forget. But Paul wrote this to the Romans, telling them this is the way they had to live. If they had to live it? Why don't we?
I lived in the ghetto of St. Lucia, where people were murdered across the street and we heard the gunshots. I've lived in the dirt, in the trash, with people who could be called "unloveable''. It wasn't fun for me, it wasn't easy. It's easy to want to go back to the states, get married live a ''good Christian life'', raise ''good Christian kids.'' How do I do what I know I'm supposed to do? The only answer I can come up with, and one I find echoed in The Irresistible Revolution, is to love.
If you love someone you're willing to do anything for them. I have to love God in order to love that Romans verse.
My human love is not strong enough for that. I pray that God gives me more of His love.