Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jesus' porcupine words in Matthew 7

I'm really rolling now ... I've made it all the way to Matthew 7:6!

I know that I have often wondered what in the world this verse means. On a few occasions I would be in the middle of a super-frustrating conversation or conflict with someone and this verse would pop into my head. The translation for me became something like, "Oh, what's the use? This person is hopeless! I'm not going to throw my pearls down in front of this pig anymore!" : ) I'm not entirely sure that is the translation Jesus intended, but it might be closer than I imagined.

I am strangely encouraged by the thoughts that Eugene Kennedy offers about this verse: (pp 69,70)
"Perhaps...these words describe -- the strange, often muddled and uncertain background for even our deepest experiences. There are differences in our human transactions and we cannot blink them away, there are moments that are right and others that are wrong, there are shifts subtle as the turn of the wind, in the persons, places, and times of our lives. The world people count on rumbles and may split open even for lovers. Risk attends our best moments -- one of the cruelest of truths -- and there is no easy balance for anyone who would take life and other persons seriously.

It is almost too easy to lose one's balance, to do or say the thing that is out of place, to offend when one wishes to soothe, to miss the moment for reaching another and to purchase estrangement instead of joy. Yes, the human situation is filled with good things trampled underfoot, with our souls torn to shreds by misunderstandings that should never have occurred, with the pearls of the spirit scattered beneath the blind and unknowing scavengers of existence. Life can be filled with out-of-place things, with events hurting and separating people in an almost random way.

We are the bearers of this desolating power, the agents of indifference that is not intended, of forgetfulness that is not willed, speakers of the careless, rocklike words that smash the windows of others' souls. It is power to be pondered, and it is well symbolized in a scripture verse that cannot be quite toned down or talked away. "

I am currently in a sitution of hurt that results from risk taken in relationship. God is showing me what I own in the misunderstandings that have grown almost rampant in this relationship. The Holy Spirit also seems insistent -- in a loving, but challenging way -- that I face the wounds and face the other party in the relationship and take away the secrecy of the hurts that have been both given and received between us. It is a new journey for me and I am scared, but somehow know that this is integral in me becoming more like Christ -- and in turn, more like myself.

In my opinion, using Kennedy's words, the 'blind and unknowing scavengers of existence' are the persistent enemies of my soul -- the world, the flesh and the devil. By pressing into reconciliation it appears that I am disarming those enemies -- or, in Jesus' words, retrieving my pearls from the stomping hooves of my enemy.

God, help me.
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