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Theology in the Trenches

It’s Not What’s on the Surface 

Unfurling across this nation voices rise in unison. In unison they rise as dissention creates tension. Push back comes as iron sharpens iron and when it does…this great nation begins its growing pains through moaning and groaning. The Founding Fathers intentionally hardwired that foundation in a way to create struggle so we would become stronger through the process of hammering out different points-of-view. Often it seems as though enemy lines are drawn when disagreements come into play.  

But are we the enemy? Perhaps listening is what is difficult, and thus we resort to giving voice loudly. Anger bubbles just beneath the surface that should be mere dialogue. Truth is, this nation is expanding. It’s expanding to include many opinions about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness like never before. Like never before brothers and sisters are not only in disagreement but in disarray while trying to give voice.

We are all made in His image and likeness…so why is it that we cannot listen or hear or love one another as brothers and sisters in the midst of these growing pains?  Recently, I was conversing with a three year old. His older brother nearby was not listening to his mama. In my presence this went down and when it did, I asked for permission to speak. 

I explained to the older one that he needed to listen to his mama because she was one of the best mamas in the world. I explained that she loved him and that is why she was telling him “no.” I continued, “Some mamas don’t ever say no. They just let their kids do whatever they want. Good mamas say “no” because they want you to be safe. You have a good mama!” It was then that the younger brother marched on over, looked me in the eye and said, “Oh yea? Well she won’t let us go over to Pete’s house!” (name has been changed)  His eyes looked distraught and his face quite perturbed. 

Apparently, from a three year old’s perspective, if his mama did not give him what he wanted, then that did not make her a good one. I probed further. “So, you think she’s a bad mom because she doesn’t let you do what you wanna do?” His conclusion? “YES!” And there you have it. That is what the idea of “good” must mean to some. Give me what I want! I wonder if we need to look a little deeper to better see what is at the root of what’s going on in our nation.

You see, footholds begin to take hold when taking down strongholds. Evil unfurls and morphs into a force to be reckoned with.  So, how do we do battle? Take up your arms by lifting them in prayer. Where prayer leads each of us…we will be called to respond. When we respond, it must be in Love. To be able to hear that others care deeply tis a gift. May we begin to renew common ground through this simple truth of loving our neighbor as ourselves…even when love does not mean giving everyone everything they want just because they want it. Sometimes “no” gives way to a better “yes” down the road.

As I heard one person say, “Law equals love.” Laws are put into place not to take all the fun out of life but to keep us safe and healthy. Rules or laws are put into place to protect many rather than giving into the demands for self.  Ephesians 4:15 would agree. “…speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.”  Amen.