But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44


Celebrating Valentine’s Day got me thinking about love. We show our love to those who are closest to us, but what about showing love to those who have wronged us?

God loves us with such extraordinary, transformative love, and he wants us to show that love to others. We are called to love our neighbors and–this one is harder–we are called to love our enemies.

This past year, I purchased a book called Prayer: 40 Days of Practice. Reading through this book was such a challenging time of prayer and reflection for me. Every daily prayer was accompanied by an image that illustrated the prayer.

About halfway through the book, I got to this prayer:

May love and forgiveness for others be less and less optional – Justin McRoberts

And on the very next page was this image:

Artist: Scott Erickson

This imagery used to convey one of the cornerstones of Christ’s love for us definitely caused some heartfelt reflection for me. In the image, you can see the individual has been shot in the back with an arrow–not only once or twice, but four times. Regardless, he still offers an embrace of forgiveness to his attacker.

The call to love is often a difficult one. The call to love someone who has hurt us can feel impossible. However, with prayer, time, and living in Christ’s life-changing love, we can forge a path toward forgiveness.

In the end, this difficult call to love is also a reminder of how God loves us: completely, relentlessly, and with no expectation of repayment.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32


May love and forgiveness for others be less and less optional.

Cameron Sutherland

Crossings KIDS & Students Videographer


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