Friday, August 23, 2019

Tension And Conflict

Dear Parishioners,

I grew up in a family that at times was marked by great tension and conflict. It is hard to talk about at times because of the easy tendency to cast blame and to designate who was wrong. My parents both carry some of the blame, as it takes two to engage in conflict. I remember evenings with loud arguments and mean-spirited exchanges. I did my best to stay clear. If any of us children were focused on during these arguments, it was my brother who was limited. He was the most vulnerable, and given the difficult course his life has taken, it showed some effect. I mention this in part because I feel that our society is reaching a place where I feel the same as I did growing up. It was unsafe often in my household, like walking into the crossfire of a battle. The anger, animosity, blaming, and conflict expressed daily in the actions of prominent politicians and media in our country is sad and points to no positive process, but a negative tearing down of the fabric of our country. My reaction to my family’s difficulties was to hole myself up in my room or leave and be with friends. At the national level of conflict, there is no easy way to avoid or leave. Now as a member of the clergy of our church, I do not wish to get political and take sides. But the level of animosity is greatly disheartening. I think we deserve better than this. I pray every day that our national dialogue will take on a more constructive stance. I ask that God soften the hearts of our national leaders, that His truth will prevail and be served. God’s love permeates my faith. If only it could be more present in our national conversation.

Deacon Steve