Dichotomies and the Third Way

Us/them. In/out. Right/wrong. Yes/no. True/false... Is there a third way? What does reconciliation look like? Where do I go from here?

I've been listening to "the voices" again. 
Side-taking, argument-spewing, self-perpetuating and other-degrading voices. 
I've been sitting on the fence again.
Feeling sandwiched, stifled.

Do I really have to "choose" between conservative and progressive?
Do I have to choose between riches and poverty?
God knows I hate the neither/nor middle, but can I really be satisfied with a one-sided response?

Maybe I've got a "problem-centered gaze," staring at the issue of division
 rather than the reality of reconciliation. 
Maybe I'm stifling myself to please people, to not upset the status quo, 
to stay liked, loved, needed, in good rapport. 
Maybe, but I think it's deeper than that.


Am I really a person who...
merely knows what they don't want but doesn't know what they want?
thinks, but doesn't act?
hides, conceals, buries?

I don't want to
merely be a co-opted voice for someone else's agenda
speak a pseudo-peace when there is war, but I don't want to fight either
sit in indecision
judge, lest I be judged
remain inactive

I want to
love everybody
appreciate diversity
believe things passionately and with the whole of my being
live in accord with my deepest beliefs regardless of the consequences
offend people sometimes
do radical things
see and live out a different view of the world than the one driven by

...but what does that look like? How does that happen?
Start with WHY

...because God loves the world and everything in it
because we don't all agree, but we're all in this together
because God's like a parent and we're all God's kids, all brothers and sisters
because there are things wrong with the way we're doing things, and I believe God wants to make all things right
because being a grown up doesn't have to include being a cog in a wheel
because people are more complicated than our terms and labels are
because each person is valuable, beloved
because the space we inhabit and share is sacred
because life is a precious gift
because no person is an island
because diversity is a biological fact and necessity
because pat answers and positions for some aren't enough any more
because of love.

In stepping off the fence, off of the "city wall," I become even more uncomfortable. May I not lose heart. May I see new possibilities. May I act with integrity and remain in my core convictions, being directed by LOVE. In a time when so many choices seem like fools choices, and when I am so afraid of choosing, I need reassurance that a third way still exists. That the choices I can make will create alternatives to the dichotomies. 

O God of Love, making-all-things-new-God, reveal possibilities that are bigger than the true/false test. If it means I need to spend less time with the 'words,' 'the voices,' then so be it. I want to hear from you, and see new things that are too small to be noticed by massive institutions and to big to be passed up for our global realities and conversations. Reveal to my soul where there has been complicity and compromise. I'm resolved to acknowledge both the evil and the good, and to move forward in a trusting, proactive way. Jesus, author of the [third] Way, guide me and counsel me. I want to be a me who is truly me in the ways you're truly you.

Benjamin FaderComment