A gossip walks around revealing secrets, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not always so gracious when someone points out my faults. I mean I’d like to say that I embrace constructive criticism, but in the end, I’ve probably got a really good excuse as to why I can ignore whatever “suggestion” you may have to improve my work/behavior/attitude.
I meet with a variety of folks from all walks of life and I am finding that many are struggling with a common issue. It often is something that seems so benign like not being reflective or thoughtful in our actions for peace. Or they point out we aren’t thinking about where our action fits into the bigger picture of this world and the consequences and implications for those we hope to lift out of oppression.
And what these folks all seem to share with me is we can’t get there from here. We can’t create a peaceful and just world if we aren’t living and modeling the very things we want to see manifested around us. That comes down to how I relate to you, my family, my neighbors and even that guy who cut me off in traffic this morning. It means how I deal with conflict and decision making within my organization is just as important as how I want politicians to deal with conflict and make decisions. Ah, but that’s the hard part – you mean we have to live this Way?
I love telling stories, and the people I meet every day are amazing folks doing really amazing things, but their stories are not mine to tell and that’s part of the challenge. I do not hold their confidence lightly. It has very deep place in my heart; it’s sacred. A part of me wants to sing out and praise their individual efforts, because if you knew I believe your heart would soar with hope. But a trustworthy person keeps a confidence. And trust is part of that foundation with faith and love we need to build a just and peaceful world.
In Genesis chapter 32, when Jacob is wrestling with the angel, he says, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” That has always stuck with me. What does God call us to wrestle with until we can be blessed?
Many of the folks I talk with are those who see the disconnect between the professed mission and organizational action, challenging fellow peace and justice workers to walk the talk. It can be a hard and lonely path for that kind of leadership, especially when this leader is a younger member. And that’s not to say these folks are passing judgment and wagging fingers; they aren’t blaming and shaming publicly. No – that would be the easy way. They really feel called to help us all live up to the visions we have shared with one another. They are sincerely trying to find a quiet confidence – a compassionate response, a loving way to ask questions that call us into our higher selves to live into the Kindom of God now. They are like Jacob and the angel – they won’t let go until we are all blessed.
How have you been blessed?
On the path,