If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be the children of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" Luke 6:32-36.
This Mark, this tiny target, hard to hit, awaits aspiring immortal arrows deep within our hearts.
The steady rain I hear this morning is falling upon roses and weeds alike. It is falling on the river and on the fire hydrant. Whatever needs the rain and whatever does not need the rain, receives rain.
Pick up your bow, and now your arrow. Fix the arrow snugly in place; now lift your elbows high; close one eye to bring your mark into focus. Do you see that bitter, cranky and hostile person? Now shoot your arrow of kindness and tolerance. Did you make it?
Now, set your site on the one who needs to borrow your last dollar. Did you give it?
Like a holy spirit, move around the face of the earth searching for pain, and when you find it and suddenly feel like hiding or running away, stay and shoot your arrow of compassion from the depth of your soul. Shoot to the core of that sufferer. Don't be afraid to knit yourselves together.
Tame your natural impulse for retaliation, and your insistence on equity, and fairness. These standards will do your soul no good. Confound justice with mercy and grace.
When you demand payment for your good deeds, face forward. Go shopping. Our Lord and Savior will sell you visitation, illumination, possibly even dominion over nature, and ultimately immortality in a perfectly peaceful place for the price of humility.
Dare to be different.
Become the Mark.