Friday, February 11, 2011

The Space Between

Two stone walls parallel one another. They are ominous, ancient & spanning miles. They are high & rough hewn. The two walls are the Sacred & the secular. They are white or black, good or evil, extraordinary or mundane. One may choose to walk either the Sacred or the secular, but one cannot leap between the two, though the gap is small. There are guardrails fashioned at alternate heights to keep one from falling. They're also effective to hinder a successful "leap of faith" along the way.

Imagine a space between these two walls, just large enough for a person to walk. There is but one way in & one way out at either end. A few brave souls have managed to rappel down the side of a wall to reach the narrow path. Their ropes have been left behind, anchored to the guardrails, some frayed, some broken. Why would anyone choose the narrow path? Certainly walking either wall would offer the best visibility & opportunity for safety. But something else compels those who make the descent.

In the space between, there is a sort of continuity. Sacred & secular now overshadow all. Reach out your right hand- here is the Sacred. Reach out your left- here is the secular. And there you are, arms outstretched, a kind of mediator between the two. Distinction melts away in the darkness of this valley.

Within all of us who bear the Name of Christ are the walls of Sacred & secular. We call them spirit & flesh. We call them faith & the world, life & death. These stand opposing each other, but Jesus is the Mediator within us, the Light to guide us. He is the Peace to calm us & the Wisdom to help us choose what is good & right & true. He is the Shepherd, leading us to the end, where the walls eventually leave off like unfinished freeways.

A few brave souls descend the walls only to climb back up one of those old ropes with great difficulty. Some try to go back & forth on a regular basis, expending so much energy that they eventually lose their grip. Some come to the end of a wall only to realize its a dead end. There are no guardrails here, nothing to anchor to. But those who resolve to make the journey via the narrow path will find a new perspective to travel by... All that matters is Christ, not the staunch division of Sacred & secular. All that matters is What matters in the space between.

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