Though the Gospel today is a big message, I think it is God telling me to pay attention to those details. Turning the other cheek does not have to be a big cinematic moment where I make the grand gesture. Turning the other cheek can mean not responding in kind when the harried cashier takes so long to attend to the person in front of me in line. Turning the other cheek can mean that I make the decision to not respond or join in when the conversation at work turns petty. I can listen to the other side of an argument and really try to understand.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies. He didn’t say it was easy. We don’t have to like what they do, but when we love our enemies, it reminds us of our humanity, of how connected we all are. It makes us vulnerable because we often like to wrap ourselves in indignation and scorn for others. We need to take off those layers and look for that child of God, for we each are a temple of God. Sometimes we have to be foolish to find wisdom. We can be afraid to let go of those layers, to love our enemies. But by opening ourselves up, by dropping that shield of contempt, we can embrace our better selves.
In this often competitive, modern world, we make people our enemies at every turn. It’s that person who cuts me off in traffic or an annoying co-worker who frustrates me every day. I can turn the other cheek and love my enemies every single day. That helps me remember that God is in the details.
(Adapted from Carol Zuegner)