shades…

I celebrated another birthday yesterday – my 33rd…wow, that year passed quickly!  Sephi is almost two, lots of interesting and exciting things bubbling away…

One of the things I found myself pondering yesterday was about my post-uni gap year as one of the Salvation Army Mission Team’s Timothys, based in Rugby, Warwickshire.  It was a fantastic year full of highs and lows.  The overriding thing that came to mind, however, was just how intensely black and white I used to view the world.  I think I might have been quite a tricky person to have worked alongside, having very little patience for those who thought differently to me, even those who weren’t, to my mind, of course, as ‘serious’ as me about what we were doing. I look back now with a mixture of humour and horror at some of the things I remember happening.

What the last decade has brought me is a keen appreciation for the beauty of shades of grey – the bits in between black and white where, actually, most of the answers are to be found.  I’m happy to be in that place of tension which says something like ‘actually, the ‘truth’ isn’t the important bit here, much more so how we view and relate to one-another as human beings’.  This is something I’ve tried to embrace as a ‘loving your neighbour’ concept, as well as ‘loving my God’.  It tries to take a long-term view of things, being prepared to have a mind set that accepts different perspectives as equally valid, or even when clearly different to mine, as being worth at least a hearing and dialogue before any firm decision being made.

Grey is a good place to spend a lot of time.  Black and white have their important moments too.  Some stuff is clearly right or wrong.  But a whole lot more is grey…

Maybe this is part of the whole idea of living generously…?

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