What a delight it is to be pointed by Annie to her contribution to the discussion. She mentions in her post that she’s “hardly the intellectual sort” but that (perhaps overly modest claim – grin) has not stopped her from pointing out a very important dynamic which grows from our human need to always remember that we have but a portion of the full truth.
“Why am I moderate? Why do I stand in the center? A person might think that the center is like the eye of the hurricane, that the storm rages around us while within all is peace. But this is only true if our focus is entirely in being in Christ. In reality, in the Church community it is a terrible place to be because the other ‘sides’ are both judging us, feeling betrayed by us or feel that we are interfering with their efforts to further what they believe sincerely with all their hearts to be the right course. Nobody on the right or left can claim they are in a minority! It is the endangered middle!
From the outset I knew that I was in the middle. In the early days I often said that I felt that the middle were the ones who were standing on the edges of the river reaching across to take hold of the hands of those from the other side–holding on, maintaining a connection. I thought then that there could be no true middle, that we all had to stand–by our very nature–on one side of that river or the other. But in that swirling water, in that current that tore at the edges growing wider and wider, in that middle–there was God!”
…These are the things I believed that I saw in scripture: That if we are wrong about something, it is not a sin, but through the Grace of God we will be guided to right understanding. I even read one of the passages that said that when I was serving as a lector from one of St. Paul’s wonderfully expressive passages. I saw that Unity was often mentioned in the New Testament. Our Lord’s prayer in the garden, in the last hour of his freedom was that we would all be as one–and wouldn’t he, I wondered, insure that we could be? I’ve joked that it may take a while for God to change 2.3 million stubborn minds. I’ve considered that perhaps the best place to stand is within the heart of God–thinking that maybe all of us are somewhat right and all of us are somewhat wrong and all of us are in need of guidance. In other words: perhaps none of us really know what God’s will is exactly. We must have the humility to consider the possibility that we can be wrong and to accept willingly that we are all in need of guidance. And then, finally, of course, there was the Great Commandment and the second. That was a long term contemplation of mine, one of my lessons, if you will, spiritually. I must love. We must love even the least among us. What a test!”
Read the rest here: Musing Mysteries - A God seeker’s journal (lay perspective)
Annie and I have been in conversation and prayer together for a long while off now, and her words are those of someone I trust. They’re also practical in considering how we love one another and eucharistic in their focus.
I was pondering this whole three-legged stool thing Elizaphanian mentioned. For me, the seat of the stool is the Divine Service, and Scripture, Tradition, and Reason receive their proper place within that setting. Just a thought.