I realize more and more, that respect and kindness in our communication with those closest to us is a Christly commodity. LISTENING to each other, caring for the person THROUGH the proofs, holding tightly to love as the first thing and equally tightly to truth as the second thing, not allowing the lie of separation to chisel chasms between us and us–all these things they are part of the heart of the Gospel and truest life, real ZOE (abundant life of Christ).
Living in relationships where respect for the other’s divine significance and love-filled truth informs the greater part of our interactions feels like Eden. Especially when people can’t possibly pause to hear each other over the screaming of their infinite needs and insecurities. Especially when a twenty-something throws a tantrum over the illogicity of his mother’s refusal to let him exercise his fullest powers of unearned irresponsibility. Especially when grown men rant over and beyond each other in public Facebook forums. Especially when the empty love of universalism lulls the would-be kind and courageous into righteous indignation and “love” sanctioned war. Especially in the world where the ruins are said to be whole by merit of their ruin alone, not by any power outside of their mess. Especially in the world where tall, gentle professors of biology, with pain-laced eyes, leave their cathedrals to find love and family in the stony temples of cold post-modernism.
How can we be agents of communication? How can we be channels of transformation? How can I, Kristi, be someone who helps people listen and hear and love and speak with truth and grace and dignity for God and his children?
It starts with me, right? I need my ears unplugged, my eyes opened, my tongue loosed. I need to die. But Christ makes ends, full-stops, into beginnings, commas. Christ turns death to life. That is my plea. That is how truth can come to love.
- Lewis (“The Weight of Glory”, The Abolition of Man, “Affection” from The Four Loves)
- A Unitarian Universalist church service
- The heart of a kind, Catholic professor of biology
- Steven Brubaker, “A Mennonite Thinks About Thinking”
- Stephen Russell
- Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro
- Lesslie Newbigin, “Faith as the Way to Knowing” and “Through Faith Alone” from Proper Confidence.
- Coldplay, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (holla)