Fractured Transitions

Our American culture seems to be fracturing before our very eyes.  This is a transition in how we do business with one another.  The intensity of the battle is such that we quit listening to one another.  We deride the politicians, with great justification I might add, but when we look at church leaders it is not a whole lot different.  Instead of listening we have forceful statements with the evident intent that the loudest one wins.  Instead of dialog we have one-line proof texts (both in church and state) that are intended to serve as bombs against the opponent.  Public discourse has become extinct and thinking beyond sound bites seems to be a thing of the past.   What frightens me is the intensity of the anger and the unwillingness to reach a common point.

Hospitality demonstrates a willingness to receive the other and a willingness to listen to the other.  I do not have to agree with a person in order to be able to accept them.  In fact, if I quit trying to badger my point and truly listen to the other, I might learn something.  Again, I don’t have to agree with what I am learning from them but at least I can begin to see the world through their eyes.

In Christian hospitality we see Christ in the other and we receive the other as Christ.  Doing this makes a HUGE difference in how we treat people.

Fr Richard Rohr had a thought in his daily devotion for February 24, 2012.  He writes, “My dear friend, Dr. Gerald May, made a distinction years ago that I have found myself using frequently.  He says spirituality is not to encourage willfulness, but in fact willingness.  Spirituality creates willing people who let go of their need to be first, to be right, to be saved, to be superior, and to define themselves as better than other people.  That game is over and gone and if you haven’t come to the willing level—‘not my will but thy will be done’–then I think the Bible will almost always be misused.”

Lord, lead me to willingly serve the other, listen to the other, embrace the other—unconditionally.  Amen

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