It is easy to look at someone’s response to an event and draw a conclusion. You come to the end of the year and you don’t get a pay raise; obviously the organization does not value you or believe you are worth more. Someone arrives at the house and only one person comes out to greet him or her. Clearly nobody in the house cares or is interested. A disaster strikes and nobody responds. Compassion has gone on holiday! Every premise could be true. Equally, each premise could be as far from the truth as east from the west.
Responses are simply a reaction to what we know in the context of when we know.
Recently I wanted to have a conversation with someone I know up the chain of command. There seemed to be a great opportunity. When I arrived he was deep in conversation using a language he knew I didn’t know. There was a moment of disquiet until I slipped to the side to wait until there was a better moment. Yet the question lingered. Did he intentionally snub me? Was he reaction to when I joined the group a signal of his evaluation of my performance? Is the lack of consideration a comment?
When it isn’t personal the conclusion is easy to draw. There was no signal, evaluation, or comment because of the context in which the interaction occurred. Nothing was intentionally said; in other words if he wanted to make a point, trust me it would have been clear. Yet the emotional reaction has long embedded itself in my soul and the internal debate continues.
I note on one occasion there were two distinct responses to the same situation; “Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.” (John 11.20) There are obvious conclusions; I don’t think so!
I wonder if I am doing the same thing with God. Do I know what Divinity is thinking? It is simple and clear isn’t it? No. Today is a new window to listen, learn, and discover.
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