A light wind blows, the stars are clear, it is peace outside. Not a single dog barks, there is no sound of traffic, the coyotes have gone elsewhere.
Words of community have, it is assumed, words of welcoming, of comfort, of connection. And I think this is right. But today was not filled with those kinds of words. Instead, I spoke words of distance, words which I’m not sure were right, but which felt right to say. All I can say to others is what is on my heart to say. If my instincts are wrong, than I fully admit my own lack of sense. I question, this evening, whether it was right or wrong.
In cases of clear sin obviously God asks us to be firm. The grey areas, though, are where things get tricky. Can we speak words which cause distance even hurt? Is it part of community to be honest rather than sensitive at times? (of course some would say this is not a forced distinction). Does God actually call us to go farther rather than come closer. It doesn’t seem so. Though, now that I’m thinking about it, the model of the Apostle Paul comes to mind. He distanced himself from the Church at Corinth, refusing to visit (even when he vowed to do so) because going there would cause more hurt until the situation was settled. He stayed away and had to explain why.
Jesus rebuked Peter for words which only the strictest person would say were sinful. There are stories of monks who refused to answer questions, even after months of pleading, for various reasons. I question myself, but I don’t feel convicted. Though I’m not sure whether or not I should. I said what I said, because I was responding to what I understood. So, I was honest… and hurtful… to one who seeks Christ no less, and maybe more, than I do. Did I say something that was needing to be heard? I don’t know. I know I did cause consternation in one who desperately needs words of peace. How can I say, ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace in the topics raised? I would bring up the topic of Balaam, but he didn’t end so well, so I won’t.
The rest of the day, apart from this, was spent nicely. A little writing, a little running. The warm day sprinkled by a nice easterly wind.
There is nothing more to life than embracing the call we have been given. Once started it has to be played out, like a bull which is bucking wildly. I’m throwing myself into the void, and am not adept at reaching out to those in the void around me. That is learned, that is also a reason why process has to be fulfilled. Antony didn’t see anyone for twenty years, because only then he was ready. Jesus told his mother, “My time has not come” because only when the time was ripe was he to engage others with the fullness of the message.
My story is incomplete. I do not yet know the work Christ will wrought in me. Until then my voice is fractured and faulty. I’ve been thrown off, and trampled, and gored even at times, but I persist in trying yet anew, hoping to win the prize, hearing at the end of the day, “well done.” If I can assist others I want so much to do so. I just can’t say more than I know, and different than what I hear, no matter how that infuriates and frustrates. My part is not to worry about that, but to continue on, readying myself again, persisting until the end.