Tuesday, April 12, 2016

bleeding water from stones

Discovery: If you allow a little seed of loathing towards another person to take root and fester in your heart, gnawing away at your thoughts, and staining your soul, then a malicious ripple effect of uncharity begins to leak from your heart into the surrounding world.

First, your vision becomes clouded. The person you have directed your ill will at seems to be nothing more than a sum of very dismal parts, and your high dudgeon prevents you from seeing your brother as anything beyond that. Their poor qualities pulse brightly in your mind's-eye, like a broken stoplight, until their litany of perceived faults overwhelm all objective truth. Any sort of hatred or loathing fosters a delusion. You begin to lose a grip on reality, and your clarity is muddled.

Secondly--and this is where things get really thorny--you begin to see everyone else in this dim, dismissive light.
Your malice cannot stay directed at just one target, it begins to take over, like a weed. All of a sudden, everyone you encounter has become annoying, everyone is frustrating, everyone is stupid, ignorant, grating, weak, and helpless. You cannot be selective in your uncharity. Once welcomed in the door, it preys upon its host.

Uncharity is not a laser, where it can be directed sharply, with intense focus, on just one object. Hate is like a wet blanket, that beats the fire out of life, that quashes the vibrancy of love, across the board. It is not just a tool we can use to nicely categorize the world into "People We Like" and "People We Don't." When we enter into uncharity, we have turned the world upside down. We've entered into an entirely bent cosmos. We tie everything into knots.

This is the sort of tangled field of wheat and tares in which grace must operate.
She ploughs through the rocky soul, leaving trails to irrigate the parched land.
She uproots the tangled weeds, and nourishes the broken vines.
She tugs at the knots that we have formed, gently loosening the cords, wrapped tight around each other like little stony pits.
She helps the bent and wounded stalks stand upright once again.

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