Archive for August 14th, 2016

Matthew 10:34-39: Division


The European Iron Curtain

Sunday, August 14, 2016

God often speaks in sudden and surprising ways.

We know from life experience that fire has the potential to both destroy and heal, to either bring all to ash or to cauterize and cure.  Jesus explains to his followers in today’s citation that when we say yes to his invitation what we agree to is our willing entrance into a life of hardship, tension, prophetic courage, and even rebellion.  Yet as grim or as unhappy as this life might seem on the surface, a life in Christ shuns temporary pleasure in exchange for eternal joy.

To die to self in order to allow God to enter is the key to life in Christ.  I have said to my close friends that a few years ago I realized that I was trying to manage my daily problems on my own, thinking that I need not bother God with things that seem so trivial in the light of the events reported on the evening news.  Yet through my pain I came to understand that rather than fear the sensation of falling down a deep well backwards with no way to even guess if there were a bottom to this pit . . . and rather than scrabble with my hands at the sides of the well . . . what God was calling me to was a life in which I willingly pull my hands away from the sides of the well to cross them on my chest . . . to fall into the hands of God that then eased me down this frightening tube.  After a time of free fall, I realized that the dreaded dark bottom of this well was opening into a flood of light.  I also understood that my willingness to allow all that I am and all that I do to descend into what I could not see and could not predict gave me the gift of total and eternal sustenance.  The waters I thought were waiting at the bottom of this well were, in fact, non-existent; for it is at the bottom of this well that I found God waiting.

A green zone now occupies the former Iron Curtain zone

A green zone now occupies the former Iron Curtain zone

Injury, crisis, strife, cataclysm, catastrophe, division, a fire that burns with a killing intensity . . . all of these, when faced with the love of Christ, disappear as dust . . . to leave in their place a serenity that will always abide.

The fire that Christ brings can heal when we hand all back to God that we have been given, the gifts as well as the pain.  The divisions we thought insurmountable . . . have conjoined and fused in a blaze of Christ’s love . . . to form a bond that can never be broken, a peace that can never be destroyed.

Adapted from a reflection written on June 17, 2009.

For more on the greening of the Iron Curtain zone, click on the images above, or visit: http://www.thebigroundtable.com/stories/boys-loved-birds/

For another reflection on radical trust, visit the Falling Down the Well page on this blog. 

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