I was reading my copy of the latest Biola magazine this last week and came across some incredibly insightful remarks. A Biola grad, Cassidy Ray, wrote an article entitled, “When Tragedy Hit, So Did a Cascade of Grace.” She was sharing how hard it has been since the tragic loss of her husband.
She remarked, “My therapist makes me use the conjunction ‘and’ whenever I’m holding onto two contradictory truths at the same time. The idea is that you acknowledge the incongruence and understand that it’s not your job to make sense of it.”
She went on, “Jimmy is dead and God is good. For me, that’s the lesson…”
That concept hit me right between the eyes. What timely instruction! Likely we all need to take a class on this concept. In our culture right now, there are ideas, opinions, suggestions and perspectives that don’t exactly “come together.” And we are all struggling to make sense of it all.
Maybe, instead of highlighting the incongruence of all our ideas, we ought to make liberal use that conjunction “and.”
For example, we probably should say, “Black lives matter.” And (we ought to go on to say) “we need to respect the honorable policemen and women who choose to put their lives on the line every day on our behalf.”
We need to appreciate those among us who are very careful to avoid exposure to scary diseases and recognize that others are ready to risk some exposure. We ought to acknowledge that some folks clearly see questionable political implications in every new public policy and maybe cut some other guys some slack when they just want to trust their government officials.
Bottom line, I think Cassidy is onto something important. There are any number of incongruent ideas and opinions facing our society right now. So, those of us who are trying to follow hard after Christ need to stick that little conjunction front and center in our thinking.
We need to study the issues and express our opinions. We must care and get involved. And, we really need to show some patience for those who have also studied the issues and concluded differently.
This week, let’s remember that tough stuff does happen to good people AND God is still in control.