The First Look

The error of some things should be apparent at first look or interaction, but if we can convince ourselves or be persuaded that a difference comes with a distinction such that which should have been impermissible is indeed legal, a moral imperative even, then the absolute of black and white is now relative and suddenly there is neither prohibition nor condemnation for the initial thing which is beyond the pale.

Indeed, we are often swept up and transported to a point of view that is inimical to our self-interest and has us contradicting ourselves or affirming ourselves at the expense of our divinity.

As usual, a man divided against himself enjoys pyrrhic victories, for the obstacles we seek to conquer are not so much the sinful deficiencies of “others” but the incredulity of the need to be our brothers’ keeper in the space where that need should be our option and choice.

In other words, Life’s demands of us as people of faith is not only inconvenient, but we also see it as capricious and inflexible, indeed unfair. But that position, however we come to be persuaded to it by legacy, status quo,or promise of heaven is wrong and consequential.

Being wrong or in the wrong is not by itself any death sentence. It’s a starting point. Being wrong and don’t know you are wrong, you do not only think you are right, you add zeal to gusto, and mash that gas where braking should be the operating concern.

The empathy and compassion we bring to the rhythm others had established has a powerful effect in righting wrongs. That’s what I equate to the lessons or value of “jumping rope or skipping.” We intuitively pick up on the necessary calibration of our rhythm to dialogue and influence the rhythm of what comes next.

So as inconceivable as some things are and the contradictions involve in embracing hot coals to our bosoms, the pain of it is not enough for folks to see, feel or have encounters where their own humanity is disrespected though it must be challenged.

Our response is to present the scales with their passion and the consequences that flow from it, compared to the scenarios where compassion is present, and we reinforce the humanity in the least of these.

Perhaps some zealous reformer told us that opposing evil is our ticket to heaven. For some of us, that means becoming warriors for God or to be antagonistic to things and people that we know are “doing wrong”. But if in seeking “to destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God”, we create despair without giving hope or reassurances by our commitment and our resources, we are not helping to establish heaven.

Indeed, we would be making hell for another and by the same token claiming to be worthy of heaven by being God’s faithful servants. That is jaw dropping, to me. Heaven would not be open wide for that kind of cruelty.

Our ideas of heaven can do with some compassion more so than our passion. Have a thoughtful and wonderful day.

Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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