So, there’s this conflict. It has been significantly impacting me for some time. Yet I did not know the real nature of these problems until recently.
It puts me at odds with someone who has always been quite dear to me.
I wish I was at liberty to express the details. I think maybe I can make the points I want to make today with out divulging details, though. Suffice to say I’m not talking about irrelevant abstractions. This is not a conflict about politics or gun control or something. It’s about the way I will live the rest of my life, and about the way this person will live their life, and about how our lives will intersect in the future. If this person has their way, our relationship will not continue the way it has always been.
After meandering through Denial, taking a bike ride through Anger, and jumping on a freeway that drove through Bargaining, I found myself in the itty-bitty township of Acceptance. Unfortunately, all the sidewalks in Acceptance are moving sidewalks, seeking to send me back out to those other places. (Ouch! If that metaphor had been any more tortured I would have violated the Geneva Convention.)
My generally temporary times in Acceptance brought with it an interesting realization: it’s a lot more difficult to fight for something from acceptance.
This is partially to be expected. The very definition of acceptance is that you’re not fighting the inevitable anymore.
But it’s entirely right. Accepting that a situation is what is does not imply that I should not fight for something better.
What I found was that it was easier to do combat against this person, who is very dear to me, when I was not understanding where they were coming from. When I got where they are coming from, it becomes different.
We’re told that we’re not supposed to fight directly against people: our real war is against powers and principalities.
While I am in the land of Acceptance, it is more difficult, though. It is more clear that I am fighting powers and principalities. If I’m not careful I can give up on the person I’d once focused on, forgot that they are just a pawn of something which I should be fighting, something I am called to fight.
I know that there are all these theories about a just war. I’m starting to think that if we really fought the way Jesus calls us to, our fighting would not look anything at all like it does here, in this world. It seems unimaginably difficult, as difficult as me changing gears, and locking myself in combat not with the person who I am disagreeing with, but with their reasons for this disagreement. Being in combat with the forces that are so linked, and treating this person themselves with love, grace, and mercy… it makes my brain hurt.