Wednesday, September 15, 2010


We love black and white. If you are not a conservative, you are a liberal and visa versa. You are either for guns or against them. Longhorn or Aggie. North or South. Legal or illegal. Adult or child.


Now, not everyone one of these does every one of us subscribe to but we tend to prefer black and white. Life seems simpler that way. More clear cut. I don't think this view is helpful, however.


The ancient (modern, too) Eastern mind, the one Jesus had, took a "both/and" outlook on life rather than an "either/or." The former is more inclusive and the latter more exclusive. Jesus is both God and human. God is just and merciful. Those two attributes seem incapable of occupying the same room! "Either/or" probably gets more money and votes thrown at it but "both/and" may be more truthful and, if embraced, may yield much more contentment with life as a whole.


We are made in the image of God and we are sinners. The same person is capable of wonderful AND horrible things. We prefer a pedestal for the former and "lock 'em up and throw away the key" for the latter. But what if we are both?


"Either/or" collapses life and people into neat categories than can be easily brushed aside or embraced. I have noticed that people and life are messy. Period. Little consistency. "Both/and" leaves people and life as mysteries to be explored, feared and relished.


May you resist brushing aside your neighbor or yourself today for the sake of simplicity. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, a unique masterpiece of God that may need tweaking at any moment. Content people live in the gray.

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