You thought I was one just like yourself.
A few days before the election two conversations came my way:
If he wins, I don't know what I'm going to do! went one.
If he wins, we're headed for trouble, was another.
Needless to say, they were each reflecting on a different candidate. Both were clear about their opinion, and both were quite sure that their opinion was the truth. Also, needless to say, both spoke for those who voted like them.
As the adage has it, “Birds of a feather flock together.” We are drawn to those who share our values, whose opinions reflect our opinions, and whose stories are similar to our own. If we are looking for a church, a mosque, or a temple, we want it to feel like home.
A few days later, a group of friends and I were wondering how to break the log jam when two different versions of reality come head to head. The word “vulnerability” soon came into play.
If we went into the discussion insisting on our own opinion, little would change. But what if we said, “I am going to share a few of my uncertainties, and I would like to leave the discussion having learned something I did not know”?
Such vulnerability becomes even more important and compelling when the topic isn't politics but the nature of God. As we lay aside our thought that God is “just like us,” we soon find ourselves embracing both mystery and paradox. Our opinions can't help but begin a slow migration towards a deeper truth.
Through vulnerability we come to new understandings of ourselves, our neighbors, and our God. And, as soon as this happens, we begin the trek once again, and learn that we who are created in the image of God must be careful to not create God in our image.
God of life, thank you for reminding us to not confuse your will with our will, and for staying with us as we search for your truth. Amen.
Copyright ©2008 Larry Pray.