At the Men's Cursillo Retreat a few weekends back, during one of the talks, a story was related that really hit me. It went something like this.
The speaker, we'll call him Joe to keep him anonymous, worked for a large firm. His boss, we'll call her Mary, was a major jerk. No one liked Mary. She made life miserable for everyone. Joe had the habit of praying in the car on the way to work. One day, he blurted out, "God, I know I'm supposed to love everyone, but I absolutely hate Mary!"
God relied to him, "I love Mary as much as I love you."
Whoa, dude. That's some pretty heavy stuff right there. Joe thought about this and realized it was true. If God loved Mary, who was he to hate her?
Joe tried to change his attitude towards her. It didn't make her any nicer, she was still a world-class jerk. Over time, however, Joe found his feelings towards Mary changing and his kindness became authentic. Eventually, Mary was fired for breaking the jerk-o-meter. As she packed up her desk, devastated, Joe went over to her and offered her condolences and regret. Mary told him she knew she had been difficult and apologized.
Mary may or may not have changed after that, but Joe did. It finally hit him just what it means that The Big Dude loves us all the same.
Me, I need to work on that.