broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

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Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Opposition

Dear Fellow travelers,

Opposition. For most people it is something we would like to avoid but usually can’t. It comes in many forms and occurs with a wide variety of intensity, but it is almost always a pain. Sometimes it is naturally occurring and sometimes it is on-purpose and defiant. Either way, opposition is no fun at all!

And it comes with a regularity that is almost predictable. I’m reminded of a sculpture dedicated to church governing boards. It’s a mother duck swimming on a lake followed by three ducklings, two of which are swimming behind momma duck without a problem. But the third is headed the opposite direction as fast as those little webbed feet can take it. The title of the sculpture is “There’s one in every crowd”. Everyone who has ever served on one of those governing boards knows exactly what I’m talking about – in fact, you can probably either name the person or can see their face right now no matter how long it’s been! “Whatever it is, I’m against it!” is their motto.

No matter your station in life opposition sometimes comes from unexpected places. But for the broken this hostility is especially painful because it is often people related, and therefore not only unexpected but unjustifiable. A person you thought was a friend suddenly – but underhandedly - opposes your inclusion in a group because your brokenness is an inconvenience. A leader or superior on the job whom you thought you could trust now ignores you as if you no longer existed – and then passes you by at promotion time. Later you learn you didn’t get the job because they didn’t want to have to deal with your handicap – but, of course, you can’t prove it. I could go on, but we know what we’ve faced. These injustices can be annoying, frustrating, humiliating, and demoralizing. And they can make you want to quit.

Oh, my dear, broken friend, hang in there. Opposition is a fact of life for nearly everybody, and especially for the broken ones. You are different and there are some people who are frightened and hostile toward anything and anyone different. There are going to be people who don’t understand and, frankly, don’t want to understand. There are going to be obstacles you will need to face that others around you take for granted. And you will be frustrated, turned away, and unjustly treated –

But that’s no reason to quit. Granted, it’s kind of stupid to just keep trying with jerks who don’t want to try, but there are good people out there who DO care and DO try and sometimes they just need a little time to come to terms with the new you. I’m not telling you to roll over and play dead, but I’m also not telling you to “shake the dust off your shoes” too soon. Yes, YOU are going to need to learn patience, not just the folks around you. YOU need to develop a sense of fairness and rightness and justice even when it seems you are the only one. RISE UP to a new level, become what you expect of others, demand of yourself a level of excellence that will either encourage and inspire - or embarrass - those around you.

Because you are already a winner! You have faced down brokenness and you are winning the battle. It is very possible you might need to be the teacher, the leader, the example for others to follow so that their attitudes can be changed and their actions can become fair and just. Don’t expect others to do all the adjusting – YOU be willing to go the extra mile, walk a while in their moccasins, and set a standard of excellence higher than anyone expected of the “crippled guy”.

RISE UP, broken friend, and let’s change our world in spite of opposition – and maybe even because of it!

Kicking and screaming – nicely, of course,
Dwight
RevPapaD@yahoo.com

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