Yesterday, I was studying to guide my community into a year-long discovery of the Biblical concept of unity. I wrestled all day with the Text, with God, and with myself. I saw evidence of division all around me. Everywhere I looked, all I could see was disunity.
I saw it in the staff of the coffee shop I was sitting in.
I saw it in the way the shop was set up.
I saw it on the front pages of the newspapers.
I watched disunity being played out by a young brother and sister.
I watched as person after person came into the shop, guarded, isolated, lonely, divided from one another spatially and emotionally.
No cohesion. No unity in sight.
I became so distracted by it that I thought a walk might help. On my walk, I saw division everywhere. It felt like my heart and brain had turned into cement. I turned off.
Just a couple of hours later, as I was sitting on the train, I started asking God, “Why all of the division?” and “Why is it stirring in me what it’s stirring?”
And then I started to experience the cement differently. I started to see it as the consequence of my own divisiveness, whether intentional or unintentional. He began chipping away at the cement by helping me both discover and recall where I had inspired division.
He helped me discover that I like feeling powerful–that I feel powerful when I choose division over unity.
He helped me to see that I like people relying me–that I feel powerful when people start seeing themselves as I see them instead of how He sees them.
He reminded me how easily I fabricate stories about people in my mind and start believing them to be true–that I feel powerful when my stories about them become true.
That train car became both a confession booth and sanctuary.
I hope they don’t mind taking care of the big chunks of cement that I left behind.