I have a roommate. I don’t like her. Not even on the basic level of human being. Her mere presence in my apartment irks me to no end. When I hear her keys turn in the lock, anger starts bubbling within me.
It’s a frustrating battle that I don’t foresee winning anytime soon. You would think that I was living in some kind of war zone where cat fights and arguments take place. This could not be farther from reality. What is actually taking place here is much more subtle, and extremely toxic.
I have lived here for about a month now. In that time, I have exchanged probably only five sentences worth of conversation with her. Sharing is a gross overstatement. What I really mean is that I have made attempts to speak to her that were met by muted responses at best. The rest of the time I’ve been here, she has gone to extreme lengths to utterly deny my existence.
If I come home as she is sitting on the couch, I smile and say hi. Brick wall. She doesn’t even move to acknowledge that I have spoken to her. If I then proceed to sit down on the other side of the room, she quietly gets up and retreats to her bedroom. She only comes out again if she hears my bedroom door closing.
I was once in the kitchen cooking dinner. She came in and danced around me to get to the items she was after, and then retreated back to her room again without so much as eye contact.
The situation is grim, really. Every bit of flesh in me wants to retaliate. I want to be passive aggressive in return and force conversation with her. I want to camp outside of her door and wait for her to emerge just so I can let her know that I am real and I live here too. I want to flip the breakers just to see if she would ask me for help.
Jesus said I can’t do that though. Jesus told me to love her like I love myself even though I don’t like her. Jesus told me that if she hates me, it’s because she hated him first. Jesus said to go the extra mile. I hate it when he does that!
Because I have the holy spirit as an internal roommate, kindness will flow from me when I want to be a mean girl. Patience, goodness, love, peace, joy, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will be exhibited in my life. I can’t retaliate because I may be the only version of Jesus that she ever experiences.
Today, I will bake her cookies and I will write her a note just because. I will take out the trash, again because that’s the responsible thing to do even though I want to dump it out in front of her door and tell her to take some initiative. I will continue to dwell in silence because that is her preference. In all of it, I will be begging Jesus to have mercy on me because I am going mad and I am sick of feeling like Bruce Willis in the Sixth Sense. I’m beginning to wonder if she even sees me.