How to Conquer the World



The love for equals is a human thing–
of friend for friend, brother for brother.
It is to love what is loving and lovely.
The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing–
the love for those who suffer,
for those who are poor,
the sick, the failures, the unlovely.
This is compassion,
and it touches the heart of the world. 

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing–
to love those who succeed where we fail,
to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice,
the love of the poor for the rich,
of the black man for the white man.
The world is always bewildered by its saints. 

And then there is the love for the enemy–
love for the one who does not love you
but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain.
The tortured’s love for the torturer.
This is God’s love.
It conquers the world.
~Frederick Buechner

Christ’s example is showered on me
every time I am shown love
when I deserve none~
when I am selfish or cruel,
unfeeling or hurtful
and yet am loved nevertheless.

Christ’s love acts through me
every time I forgive,
show mercy, extend grace
though I am hurt and bleeding.

I pray God’s conquering love
for His enemies
disarms me,
renders me helpless to protest,
girds me with gratitude,
sinks me into submission.
I am overtaken
by His illuminating Spirit.




2 thoughts on “How to Conquer the World

  1. No ambiguity here . Buechner’s thoughts and your comment, Emily, stated in such humble affirmation, are clearly
    defined – and challenging.
    No one is excluded here. Easy to love those who return our love and those who
    need our compassion in their suffering. If we are truly honest with ourselves, however, we find It nearly impossible
    to ‘love our enemies’ – especially those who defy the sanctity of ALL human life, from womb to grave, and those
    who continue to create a bloodbath among the nations of our world. But we have no choice, do we?
    Jesus’ words – and His actions during His earthly ministry that led to his agonizing death splayed naked
    upon a tree – clearly emphasize this necessity. Among His final words, gasped out as he struggled to breathe,
    were, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”
    Jesus gave us no take it or leave it options, no wiggle room, no euphemisms.
    The only way that we can love ALL whom He included in His commandment to ‘Love each other as I have
    loved you’ (Jn 15: 12 NIV) and ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Mt 5: 43-44 NIV)
    is to reach out to Him, hold on tight, and try our utmost to do what He asks us to do as we try to follow Him
    in discipleship.


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