I wish I understood the process of reconciliation better. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I find myself certain that if I just understood it better, I’d be ready, willing, and able to do it. This is a ridiculous assertion, of course, and I’m an idiot.
Tonight I was talking to Michael about what I see as the major problem of the faith community we’ve been part of, and still have plans to return to: over a decade ago, two churches merged, but what I see is not a new church, but three churches in one building: the original two congregations, and the third, comprised of the people who joined after the merger. I wasn’t here, but it seems to me that instead of combining into a new congregation, the original two simply divided up parts of the church, and have been living like roommates in a dorm room with a big wide piece of masking tape dividing the room.
The third congregation, the one that wasn’t part of either of the original two, is just a dumping of salt into the unhealed wounds. This is kind of the place we entered.
Michael says to me tonight, “I would tell you that I think God can heal these wounds . . .”
But he wouldn’t say that because he doesn’t see that in the case of Holy Trinity. . . so he’s not sure he sees it as possible elsewhere.
I don’t think that God magically creates reconciliation between people. I don’t think it happens without us doing the work.
Here’s where things get really fucked up. I suggested that we invite to our home a family who, as far as I can tell, can’t stand us. Michael bristled at this suggestion. I don’t blame him . . . I bristled at it, even as I said it. But where the fuck else are we going to start?
I can’t see going back there without some serious work of reconciliation, and if I can see what the problem is, it seems to me that the responsibility rests in my lap. I hate that. I hate the responsibility that comes with understanding the issue and framing it.
I’m sad and I’m mad and I don’t want the responsibility of fixing the fucking problem, or at least trying to fix it. I would say that I don’t even know that it’s fix-able, except that I agree with Michael that God could choose to work a miracle.
But I don’t think God’s going to do that without us doing the work.