Loving Those Who Hurt Us

– by Jenny-May Hudson

Face to face in the dead of night, he shot my Dedda at point-blank range. The cold, dark, Pretoria air made way for the sound of a gunshot, and Dedda fell to the ground. I reached my father, and got the shock of my life. It was not the leaking hole in his chest, or the wailing fashion in which he called my name, but the fact that I realised that he was only human.

This being, who had battered and beaten us, who had called us names and attempted to murder our minds, bodies, and spirits – this person, my Dedda, was but a man. A man who could bleed. A man who could possibly die . . . “Jenksy, I’m cold.” “Dedda, it’s okay, Dedda, I’ll get a blanket.” I ran inside and dialled 10111. I told the uncle at the police that someone had shot my Dedda. I gave my address, ran back outside, and put a blanket on Dedda. He gripped my hand tightly, and his breathing became erratic while he wailed, “Jenksy, don’t leave me!” I assured him, “Dedda, I promise I won’t.” “Jenksy.” “Yes, Dedda?” “Jenksy . . . ” He had no question or comment. He was just saying my name. I tucked the blanket closer to his body. Just a few minutes ago, I had been asleep in my bed. 

It is easy to show love to those who love in return. Even non-believers can do that. It is the essence of Christ in us that enables us to respond with love and compassion to those who hurt us. People who are in pain visit pain upon others. Why add to that pain by responding in any other way that Jesus Christ would? This is true wisdom. When you send love in response to hate, incredible things happen, especially to you.

Extract from Monsters, Mice and Mercy © 2013, Jenny May-Hudson. Reprinted by kind permission of Lion Hudson Ltd.

JOY! Magazine (August 2018)

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