Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Puzzled In the Crosshairs

A few years ago, my mom came to visit. We see each other maybe once a year, so it was kind of a big deal. She enjoys doing crossword puzzles & brought her book with her to help pass the time. At some point, I sat down & filled in a few squares, thinking it might be fun to do a puzzle together. My mother did not share this sentiment. When she sat down to her book & noticed the puzzle had been molested by some foreign pencil, she actually got angry. She lamented how the puzzle was ruined & couldn't be finished. I watched her turn the page & start anew.

Believe it or not, I kind of get this behaviour. I'm a hard core perfectionist deep down. As a child, I remember having a difficult time with failure & making mistakes of any kind. If I couldn't do it right the first time, I wouldn't dare risk defeat. As an adult, I've come to grips with the fact that trial & error are the primary means by which we learn. Still, this behaviour from my mother surprised me. What was she really saying about my involvement? Was she saying my interjection was a mistake? My words were correct... but perhaps my presence in her puzzled world was not. It didn't fit with her idea of how things should have been completed.

How many times in the world of denominations have we turned the page in a huff, convinced our efforts were ruined beyond redemption? That's precisely what we do when we bite & bludgeon each other with arguments of faith. Aren't we working on the same puzzle? My mother & I share the same blood. Can't we say the same of our supposed brothers & sisters across denominations? And if not, why? Is Christ at the center or not? And if not, who or what has edged Him out?

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