I write because without writing I become lost, afraid, confused, frustrated and disappointed. It is where God meets me in the innermost recesses of my mind and heart and encourages me to connect with others in love and truth. I write to live a fuller more effective life, to be sharper, more decisive and prudent. My image of truth is the sword, the double-edged sword of the Word that divides marrow from bone, the sword of St. Paul and St. George who fought the good fight and died but who live on in our faith. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.”
In St. Paul’s metaphor of the body of Christ, all parts of the body are equally needed: the eyes to see what has happened, what is needed now and imagine what will be needed in the future; the ears to hear what is being said aloud, what is whispered and reshapes the inner ear to hear anew; the feet to walk where one is led and where no one else has gone with trust, agility and steady pace; but most of all the hands to wield the truth with resolve and purpose. The projections of others about laying down the sword, what it means to them in terms of securing the peace, are true for me as well, but for I know that I am called to live Jesus by fighting the good fight using my skill with words even if that means suffering and dying as a result. For this reason, I am one who will ask the challenging question and interject the honest word when others might be more inclined to silence and caution, and I accept the scars of the consequences.
As Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Jesus came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” These are not easy words but they are true. It is healthier and wiser to accept, than to slide into a mindset of tacitly accepting rather than challenging injustices where we find them.
This doesn’t mean not holding your piece and waiting for the opportune moment. Timing is important. The same is true of embracing our own truth. There are times when self-sacrifice means doing what needs to be done rather than what we would rather do. In my own life I know that undertaking ministries to which I did not feel truly called has caused me, and others, tremendous grief. While seeming valiant and self-effacing at the time, I have learned there is cost not only to me but also to others. However, there are also times when it is right to wait, to just help out and set aside one’s own dreams for the sake of the common good.
1 Hebrews 4:12, International Standard Version, 2008.
2 Matthew 10:34, International Standard Version, 2008.