Following on from my previous post…is it possible that we might see being torn as a positive alternative to, say, being at ease?
The apostle Paul knew what it was like to be torn, by frustrating circumstances, by the commixture of hostile motives and (the possibility of) beneficial outcomes, even torn between the desire to die and be with Christ and to live on and be of service to Christ and the Church. And on one occasion, in such a position, Paul found himself aware of Christ saying to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect through your weakness.”
And here I think one ought to note that the point is not that Christ’s ego power-trip demands Paul’s humiliation, but that the power that raised Jesus, who had humbled himself even to the point of crucifixion—a literal tearing—from the dead was now being shared, through Paul—and others—for the restoring of the world to a state of wholeness and wellbeing.
There is a principle at work here, one that even those who do not share Christian faith might recognise, that when we embrace our own weakness and limitations, we find ourselves able to tap-into a life-sustaining and enhancing power that is from outside of us; that is held in communion with others.
And that this possibility is only available to be experienced by those who know, in their day-to-day experience, what it is to be torn.
Elsewhere, in what have become known as the Beatitudes, Jesus taught that those who can enter into true personal happiness are those who live under such individual limitations.
Perhaps the deeper invitation of this frustrating week in this frustrating year is to enter into the lived reality that the limitless powerful wind of Life makes even bare trees dance?