"But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word 'tension.'" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I want to be comfortable in tension. I don't easily feel awkward. I can confront situations. I don't enjoy confrontations, conflicts... who really does? Who enjoys addressing the hard issues of life? We'd all like, I believe, for life to be conflict-free, for perfection to reign, for our city of residency to be the Garden of Eden. Screw sin, screw pain, discomfort, struggle, fear, uncertainty, betrayal, confusion. No one enjoys those things. But we insisted upon their existence. Now we must take responsibility and take action. We have to DO SOMETHING about it.

Even though we'd like to live without conflicts, we still have to see the necessity of them. Conflicts have the ability to move us forward. They stretch us. They better us. They test us. (Or God does, through them.) Conflicts, many times, are iron sharpening iron. Not always, but sometimes.

Sometimes conflicts are simply evil tempting us, attacking us, trying to ruin us. But there is even good to be sought in this. We can better ourselves by fleeing, by resting in the victory already won at Calvary, by relying on grace and strength that is not our own to carry us through. Conflicts are opportunities for greatness to abound, to be realized.

All this is not to minimize the reality of the pain conflicts typically cause. People are broken. Good people are seduced by evil things. People do horrible things sometimes, but that doesn't always mean they are horrible people. People screw up, daily, even by the moment. If at any moment we take power and control for ourselves, away from the All-knowing God who is better at His job than we are... if for one moment we shift our focus from Him to us, we put ourselves in danger of hurting God, others, and ourselves.

But people - broken people - can be redeemed. Not all will choose the love and grace and redemption that is possible through Jesus Christ. No, many won't. The path is narrow and the number are few who find it.

Change is possible. Redemption is possible. So we cling on to hope - the hope that is the anchor to our souls, keeping us firm and secure.

I need to more often rest in the tension of conflict so that I can be changed by it, so I can discover opportunities for greatness, so I can attempt to turn another person's eyes upward and onward to the truth. To the Father. To redemption.


  1. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Right on.

  2. beautiful...so very beautiful!