There were times in my childhood when my mother would say, “I think you kids sit up at night and think of ways to torment one another.” I knew I didn’t do that; I was at the end of the bed, reading by the streetlight. But I could, and did, imagine each of my brothers– pen in hand, copybook on their knees–making a list of activities and events sure to send me ’round the bend.
As I have gotten older, (N. B. I refrain from claiming ‘wiser’) I understand that people don’t think up ways to annoy me, they annoy me by their lack of thinking. Precisely as I annoy others. Maybe we should not try to pray for our enemies as much as we try to pray for those who annoy us. Perhaps I need to remember that we all seem to share an enormous portion of unintentionality when it comes to our actions and their subsequent outcomes.
St. Alban's Parish is a vibrant and diverse Episcopal Church in Washington, DC near the National Cathedral. We come from every walk of life, every culture and context, and every corner of this region.
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Maybe we should pray that we have the wisdom to assume innocence in others actions rendering them much less annoying. It is something I struggle with – thanks for bringing it into my conscience today.