It seems fitting on the eve of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to reflect on where I am in my own journey towards living non-violently. And perhaps tonight it will be sufficient to share but a tidbit of something I’ve known but that I’ve been able to make more concrete/intentional for myself in some education, reflection and conversation I was privileged to take part in this weekend.
The gist of it is that when I find myself in conflict with someone, I cannot presume I have the right to challenge that person. I have to earn that right. And if I’m not willing to engage in some self-challenge of myself and my position, I have no business challenging another. It makes perfectly good sense, doesn’t it? So why does it seem so scary?
It seems to me that when I am able to name that with which I struggle in coming to really appreciate another perspective, it’s a risk to put it out there. It takes hope and trust that my vulnerability will be received with reverence rather than be used as ammunition against me. Knowing deep in my bones that I am God’s beloved seems to make it possible for me to take the kind of risk necessary to come to a new place of understanding.
Perhaps this is just an echo of my previous observation that knowing I am loved is key to my availability to engage in transformative experiences. Or maybe it’s a new nuance…I don’t know. What do you think?