Sunday, August 17, 2014
The Gift of Disagreement - Kayla McClurg in Inward/Outward
We can look almost anywhere in the world and see the consequences of one of our greatest failures as human beings—our inability to disagree.
Yes, that is what I meant to say. We are suffering today not so much from our inability to agree as our inability to, peacefully and respectfully, disagree. Opposing opinions often feel threatening us. What are we afraid of—that we might learn something new, and have to change?
A woman comes to Jesus seeking a crumb of mercy for her daughter. She is a nobody among nobodies. The disciples want to send her away, and Jesus himself compares her to a dog scrounging for scraps under the table. Yet she is remembered still today, not because she and Jesus hit it off so splendidly, but because she dares to disagree creatively.
She is put down and spoken to dismissively, but she does not let this deter her. She has a vision bigger than the evidence at hand. She has her own sense of God’s wide, wild mercy, and she recognizes this mercy within Jesus. If he is not yet ready to stand with her, so be it. She is ready to stand with him.
This is what it means to disagree with an open mind. We hold in our hearts our sense of what is right, and we also hold those who oppose us. We refuse to accept the same old worn out stories, and we also refuse to write people off. We know the old bigotries and hatreds have harmed us all, and that we of opposing opinions are not the real enemy. We also know that keeping quiet is no longer an option.
When she asks Jesus to heal her daughter, her beloved, her future, he says no. She finds a third way, allowing her expanded vision to stretch his. From this woman we see what a living relationship with Jesus and each other can look like. We see the healing mercy that can come from disagreement.
The full article is available here