Learning As We Climb...a visit to my past thoughts

I have just spent the last few hours combing through scores of old documents on my computer.  From dated work documents to family recipes.  From scribbled notes I took in meetings to journal entries trying to work out what I believe about life, ministry, relationships, theology etc.  

It is sobering to read so much of my thoughts in one sitting. It feels as though I just climbed a mountain range and then looked out from the summit to see what I've accomplished.  I simultaneously realize how much I've learned and how much I still need to know.  Here are a few thoughts/insights/revelations that stuck out to me.  They are a bit disjointed when taken out of the context for why I wrote them in the first place, but still musings that provoke further thinking.  Hope they are helpful to you, in some unique way, today.

  • The way in which we represent a people is paramount to how others respond to the problems they face.  Truth is a servant to Love.
  • “Wicked Problems” –social scientist use this term to describe the idea of problems that interact with other problems or a system of problems that create so much mess that it is difficult to find the solutions.
  • Unless we carefully consider the full range of factors that underly a given problem, we may produce solutions that have unintended consequences.
  • We exoticize suffering.  In the west it is an exotic reality.  The suffering that comes with structural violence is so weighty that it is difficult to weigh it. 
  • We can help alleviate, heal or mend the wounds that the violence causes but we are still unable to explain it. The dynamics and distribution of suffering is still widely misunderstood.
  • Practice is informed by theory.  Our actions are birthed from a place of what we truly believe.
  • Dr. Cynthia Enloe’s important question, “Where are the women?”, must be asked in evangelical gendered environments where many of the women have been relegated to the caring of children or administrative support work.  In their book Half The Sky, Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wudunn clarify the importance of understanding the complexity of gendered roles and expectations by writing, “Women themselves absorb and transmit misogynistic values, just as men do. This is not a tidy world of tyrannical men and victimized women,” they insightfully explain, “but a messier realm of oppressive social customs adhered to by men and women alike.”
  • It is my understanding that biblically, a person that is “set apart” and called to minister to the Body of Christ [The Church] is in a place of honor with much responsibility and accountability.  Pastors, elders and deacons are held to a standard that in many ways holds more weight than the “average” member of the Body because of the immense responsibility that comes with caring for the spiritual, emotional, relational and intellectual needs of their flock.  To whom much is given, much is required.  

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