As friends and colleagues engaged in conversation, dialogue and at times debate on social media over the Zimmerman trial it was obvious perspectives were diverse. While racially speaking some people are of my same opinion that the Trayvon Martin crime is a black and white issue; the complexities of the investigation, trial, outcome, and responses can never be black or white, shades of gray and every color in between prevail.
As a person who was naturally inclined to black/ white, either/or notions, I have been forced to grown accustomed and even find joy in living in the liminal space, exploring the spaces in between and find truth in them. Most importantly because it is only in those middle spaces where we give power to the voices of others and we are able to listen and learn from them. That has been invaluable for my growth. Some people might be tempted to classify this approach as ambivalence or relativity. I hope you can see beyond that judgment. Do not get me wrong, there are certain things I know to be absolute truths, like the fact that God is and loves us. However, I cannot bring myself to claim I know or have the absolute truth about all there is out there to know about the world.
This four-part piece is specifically a reflection on how I witnessed clergy, laity, leaders in the Christian church respond to each other while engaging in the events of the Zimmerman trial. The reason I felt compelled to reflect on it is because this has not been an isolated dynamic. On the contrary, I have seen this particular synergy take place in other social media interactions, church meetings, and ministry settings in general, like the local church.
What are you talking about, Teresita?!
I found it particularly interesting and at times disturbing that as ministers and makers of the kingdom I succumb to the temptation to judge other’s ministries, calls, and approaches to ministry because they do not match what I feel called to do. In other words, I saw far too many colleagues calling others to shut their voices in the name of keeping the peace, our ultimate calling.
However, peace has never been achieved without a voice. Peace has never been achieved without someone blazing a trail: a trail of thought, a trail of conversation, a new way to see and achieve new things.
Peace has never been achieved, without the call of the trumpet/whistle blower that warns the people to prepare at the threat of war or attack.
Peace has never been achieved without the harsh words of the prophet.
Peace needed the voice of John the Baptist calling in the desert to prepare His way.
These pieces are my attempt to bridge peace among all of us working for the kingdom in different ways so that while we may not all agree on perspectives and approaches, we can at least support and respect each other in this peace-making enterprise called the Kin-dom of God.