The following conversation took place between my 5 year old daughter and me while watching TV.
“Dad, do you love a bad guy?”
“Uhm…what do you mean?”
“Do you love a bad guy?”
“No, sweetheart. I don’t love a bad guy.”
“But do you like bad guys?”
“No, I don’t like bad guys.”
“Well, you don’t have to like bad guys but you have to love bad guys.”
“Oh! You mean how Jesus teaches us to love bad guys.”
“Yes. We don’t have to like bad guys, but we do have to love bad guys.”
“Then, yes, I do love bad guys. But not because they’re bad, but because Jesus loves them.”
“Can I have a yogurt now?”
That’s some pretty good practicing resurrection life, huh? Granted, she hasn’t needed to put Jesus’ “love your enemy” into truly difficult practice. But if she can see Dr. Doom as a person and not just a lame villain behind a mask, Livvy’s off to a great start.
When was the last time you saw a “bad guy” as a person? They have hopes, dreams, regrets, and disappointments. Their story might not be as black and white as it is gray. They need prayer. They need love. They need forgiveness.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because you and I need all of those things, too.
May the 5 year old Christ followers of the world lead us!