Monday, January 14, 2008
The Broken Shards of Self
I just got out of one of the most exhausting meetings and it was exhausting (of course) because there were people involved. Very different people with different ways of approaching the same situation. There were the male/female perspectives to attend to. And the American/foreigner differences. And those who were mentally retarded and those who weren't. And family members vs. non-family. There were the disagreements over the active vs. passive approaches, and between those who come at situations from behind a desk and those who have to fight on the front lines. Mind you, there were only five people involved, including me.
In contemporary theology, a point of contention is the role that experience plays in moral and ethical formation and decision making. If I am a woman, can I view God through a man's eyes? If I come from a broken home, how does that experience affect my trust in a benevolent God?
I am sure the contentions among the apostles were more than just polite disagreements, the way we imagine it in our heads. After all, they were men of different personalities and temperaments, different backgrounds...different experiences. They all had their own unique idea of who the Christ was...or who he should be. They had expectations, natural, human expectations. And they got dashed against a rock. And you have to wonder: do our broken expectations confirm our beliefs that what we had believed in no longer exists? Or is it simply a matter of expectations being broken. No right. No wrong. No birth. No death. Just expectations.
When I realized this, I sat back in my chair, ate another donut, and watched the drama play out.