"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
I was fighting with my friends at CH Refugees. And it was getting nasty. They were nasty, I was nasty. And I was interpreting their nastiness not as sarcasm or just trying to win an argument, but as a fierce personal attack.
At some level I recognized that we were all under attack, that there was something outside of us, working with us to generate hostility and bitterness and resentment and (in my case), even hatred. I really was starting to only see people who were condeming me for wanting to protect the dying, and wanting to just attack them.
And when you clear away the crap, I don't hate the other members of EMHAC. They're my friends. But what I was feeling was pretty nasty. And it followed me and turned inward. I got lost on the subway trying to get to Itaeowon. A place I've been to scores of time! I was so frustrated and discouraged and demoralized. And I realized I was under some sort of attack. But all I could do was hate Korea, hate the subways, hate my life.
Jesus' admonition isn't just niceness. It's a key way to get out of that downward spiral. It's a spiritual strategy for resisting attack, for armoring oneself against Satan's attempts to derail us.
It's a lesson I need to internalize. I need to learn to recognize spiritual attacks the way I recognize flashbacks.