It is not, at least for me, easy to walk into a room of strangers. I do not find it fun, enjoyable, or exciting. I know some do; I confess I cannot imagine why! The feelings of angst, fear, and uncertainty which come with the event are very similar to the moment when you meet a professed enemy. Ironically neither event is completely avoidable. There are events where one must walk into a room filled with strangers. As much as I like being liked, there are those who consider me as the enemy. Engagement is either situation is problematic, possibly ugly, and often distressing.
In this context I cannot imagine a terrorist walking into the moment of action. I struggle to see how an actor goes out on stage for opening night. I wonder what inspires the true extrovert. Each must engage with the unknown. Each walks in blind. Each revels in the moments just before the point of beginning.
You and I are asked to engage with those who dislike and even hate what we stand for. The idea of unconditional acceptance, unlimited mercy, and unmerited compassion strikes those aligned with evil as something that must be resisted, challenge, and destroyed. When we take the positive approach that contrast is visible to anyone willing to be aware. An example is history occurred when Jesus was betrayed. Soldiers seeking to bring him into custody didn’t know what to expect.
Are you the Christ?
Yes, “‘That's me.’
The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.” (John 18.5) The contrast was black and white.
This is our calling in a world filled with pain, anger, and horror. Our mission is to stand and be counted for all that is right. We must decide where we will stand – love and compassion – or self and justice without mercy. We have no choice of engagement, just a question of how. The good news is that we are not in this alone; Divinity is along side and within us. When you’re ready; engage with God.
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