Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23

Year B - Pentecost +15 or Energy to Witness 15
September 6, 2015

Measurement is tricky business. We can fairly easily measure twice and put studs 16 inches apart. We can equally easily measure in-place studs to see that they meet building codes or need to be redone.

It is not so easy to measure results of interactions, particularly those that are not immediately obvious. Measuring the effect of time doesn't take into account interacting actions or shifting/subsequent measuring criterion. We can expect a result coming after 7 times of forgiveness and when it doesn't we feel justified in giving up on that process and shifting to one mode of "tough love" or another. It is difficult for us to hold to a course of action over time for implementation of love is always tough. Our attention wanders and we find ourselves mistaking "tough love" for "love that is tough". In this confusion we lose concentration about the advocacy that is needed in times of injustice and what appreciation of an act's inherent value is available in times of generosity.

8Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail. 
9Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.

We need external consciences to continue reminding us we can travel into spaces we have learned to label as "strange" or "dangerous" and be generous with our lives. May you cultivate your external conscience to bolster yours when it falters on its own. May you be willing to claim your ability to be an external conscience whether invited or not (bearing in mind its difficulties when a presumed right to direct kicks in).

Measuring injustice can be done. Measuring a consequence to fit is unlikely to be fitting. Measuring "enough" for one's self is tricky business given our desires. Measuring "enough" for others takes more trust than is usually shared.

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