Monday, June 19, 2006

God is Gray

An interesting perspective of God. I grew up in a household and religious community in which everything was black or white -- either one extreme, or another. No in-between. No middle ground. No compromising. Compromise was the dirty c-word. My way or the highway.

The rhetoric of exclusion, rather than the message of truth, it seems.

But I also think that sometimes things would be simpler if they were indeed black or white -- if right and wrong were really two distinct polarities. How much more peaceful life would be if everything didn't merge into a murky gray film. But such is life, and it's the grayness of life that keeps us alive, I think -- that ensures that we remain in dialogue, and that we have differences.

Who can blame people for trying to simplify their lives? I can't. I could use a little dose of black and white sometimes myself.


Casey said...

Monica -- do you think there's a link between a "message of truth" and a "rhetoric of exlusion?" I'm interested in hearing a little more about this. Seems like nobody can agree about the definition of "truth" anymore, but I'm allowed to ask!

(In other words: isn't exclusion a function of truth?)

nedric said...

I would hope to be compassionate towards the urge for simplification in certain contexts and call the urge into question in other contexts. Thanks for reminding me of that.

It's curious to me, living in Iowa, how many people can't stand the winter or rain and want the supposed paradise of summertime. They tend to complain about any inclement weather. And either out of spite, or rooting for the underdog, I have developed a real appreciation for murky weather.

Monica said...

I think you're right, Casey, about there being a link between truth and a rhetoric of exclusion. I guess I should have put "truth" or "message of truth" in quotation marks. Anyone who claims to have absolute truth is automatically exclusionary -- that's the irony of it all. But that's also somewhat terrifying -- the idea that there is nothing that we can call absolute truth.

And, I agree, Nedric -- murky weather isn't so gloomy. I think I could live in Seattle, for instance. It's kind of nice. A perpetual summertime would not be so nice; even though I'm from southern California, I get this.

Michelle said...

I think that the grayness that is spoken of here speaks to the relationship side of who God is. I view God as one who desires us to be in relationship with Him. For me, its not about a rule book way of living. For example, when I think of all the relationships in my life, there are things that are acceptable for some people to do that are not for others. This depends on my relationship with them, the better they know me the more room they have to lend constructive criticism, but less room for hurtful humor. We were created in God's image, so I think we can relate to God in this way... Above all, He desires meaningful relationships.

Living life under a bunch of rules is stressful, but being free to have a relationship with God is so amazing!