…if you receive My words and treasure up My commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5 )
At a conference in Washington D.C. for women in leadership, I found myself seated at a table with a most interesting dinner companion, someone at the center of a fierce national conflict.
Here I am that night with Sarah Weddingham, the lawyer who argued (and won) the 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe vs. Wade. Finding myself next to this unexpected polarizing dinner companion, I was concerned about conflict. Skipping dinner suddenly seemed like a good idea to me!
Then I imagined Jesus sitting at the tables with controversial people, and the criticism he received for sitting side by side with some whom others thought it was inappropriate.
So often when it comes to these big “national” conflicts, we forget the opportunity to pursue transformation. Instead, we engage in “trench-formation,” digging ourselves deeper into our version of righteousness and attempting to destroy the enemy in the trenches on the other side.
God emphatically asks that we stop “trench-formation” behavior. In the gospels, we see Jesus demonstrating exactly how to do that. Pursuing transformation instead of “trench-formation” looks like Jesus dining with his friends. He asked sincere, beautiful, curious questions that brought forth such wisdom and understanding that we are still talking about it thousands of years later.
That night at the table with Sarah, I inclined my heart to understanding and gained a transformational treasure trove of insight and understanding. Our call in Christ doesn’t change in moments when we find ourselves seated at the tables of conflict. Christ’s example was to love, to search for the treasure, and to find the knowledge of God.
Prayer of Response:
Dear Lord, When I find myself in conflict, help me to receive and treasure your words first and foremost. Give me the grace to listen attentively for wisdom.Incline me in a loving way for understanding. Help me to seek and search for it as if it was a winning lottery ticket lost in my house. Give me the grace to follow your example of transformational love at any table. Amen
—Submitted by Janice Gutierrez