In a world of wounds, scars and pain, the answer has to be love. And love can come in many forms. I see it in its forms of; respect, kindness, self control, gentleness and helpfulness. It is in all people and it comes from God.
These forms are so easy to carry out... really, yet we let ego get in the way and make it very difficult to emanate. There is so much built up in our responses that even we do not know from whence it came.
We're all well aware that the conflicts we have with others draw on our deepest sense of 'false self'. The responses we give and the decisions we make in an instant can be less than loving. For a moment can we consider what the other person is thinking and feeling? Can we stop and actually listen? Is active listening just watching a persons lips moving and waiting for our turn to snap back and defend our position? And have we ever listened to what comes from our mouths during our responses?
What is to be feared?
It is hard to see when we veil ourselves with self righteousness, with pride and with anger. At those times, there is psychologically and emotionally no real ability to see the other person for who they really are. A sense of justice, fear, dread and correctness becomes more important. The dualistic thought of right and wrong limits us from coming to the middle ground honestly and admitting our true feelings, the depths of who we really are. Middle ground is clothed in peace and love, yet it is feared. What if the other person doesn't come with me? What if I bear my soul only to be mistreated. However, what if, this is the only place that both can be healed?
When I adjusted my personal position to affirming, inclusive and accepting of the LGBTIQ+ community there was a backlash. Not because I am some prominent figure in a pastoral position, but because I chose to 'come out' online via social media, from my small home in the suburbs. The anger, attacks and disapproval saddened me.
My change in position had no bearing on what is 'cool' or 'in'. I have no desire to make decisions on anything just to be 'in'. Otherwise, becoming a Christian would not have been anywhere near my list of 'decisions to make'. Relationships became a little fractured, partly because of the way I stepped out in dualistic thinking, and partly because of the offence and disgust from those against my stance. A difficult combination.
My decision came from many places but mainly a revelation of grace, from a new and fresh look at the life of Jesus and how He and us are a reflection of our creator God. This is my personal journey - and there is much more to it than just that.
Can we see the 'Whole Picture'?
Love is "the perfect bond," as Paul says (Colossians 3:14). Richard Rohr says, “When I don't love, the negative voices immediately get the upper hand.” And from my personal experience, the negative voices only hurt you and others. The eyes of the Spirit see the whole picture but our human minds try to separate it.
In all occasions we need to be aware of our union with the Divine Presence. The Presence of Love. Jesus.
Rohr also states,“So, with great irony, our faults are the crack that lets grace in, exactly as the Gospel teaches.” When these moments arise, let us accept it as 'the crack' and let grace pour in. Let's step back from judgment and see the Divine moment on offer to us. And watch how God meets us.
If only the Pharisees, (who had Divine Presence right before their very eyes) had caught hold of these moments on offer.
May we catch hold of these moments on offer, with the Divine Presence within us urging and encouraging us to choose love.
Belinda has always enjoyed expressing herself. Her mediums have included dance, painting, writing and performing for local theatre company's. In 2010 she was invited to write comment articles for Press Service International which culminated in her winning the 'Basil Seller's Australian Young Writer of the Year Award' in 2015. Her writing is now published at cinemafaith.com and periecho.com. Belinda lives on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
See all previous articles by Belinda Croft: