Jesus taught what is sometimes referred to as Jesus’ Third Way … Not violence and not passivity, but non-violently standing up for what is right. Jesus spent many hours with the crowds pressing in on him, then went to solitary out-of-the-way places to pray. Instead of standing apart or in solidarity, Jesus held the tension between the two, taking time for people and for personal retreat. Instead of settling for the diminishing prospects of focus on self or focus on relationships, Jesus entered into the synergistic dance of self in relationship, where self-development and community development enhance one another.
The binaries listed above become most creative when held in tension. Instead of a hard heart or a bleeding heart, we discover a soft heart. Instead of childlike dependence or aloof independence, we arrive at mature inter-dependence. Instead of everyone towing the same line for the sake of unity, we accept diversity within unity. The German Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century, Rupertus Meldenius, once wrote in a tract: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials diversity, in all things charity.”
May disunited selves find greater unity. May a divided body of Christ find healing!