The understanding that we can't be understood as a person in a fixed space and time, but rather as a string of events; that we live in an ever-changing world should engender in us a spirit of compassion.
No one knows the totality of my stories. How could they? I don't even know them. There are too many moving parts, too many instances that go unnoticed, too many scaffolds I am unaware of. How do I expect myself to judge others fairly when I can't even justly assess myself? I don't. At least I shouldn't.
So we make no final judgements. At least we shouldn't. Not even with ourselves. Remember, we're in progress.
I couldn't sleep last night for a number of reasons. This morning I woke up groggy, not prepared to face another day at the grindstone. I heard Mike and Ada jabbering in the kitchen and remembered that I am central to the story unfolding; to their stories. So I willed my tired body out of bed, walked in the other room and held Ada close, breathing in the smell of sleep and breakfast.
Today I took laundry off the line. They were stiff from drying so quickly. I was reminded that I need not dry so quickly, because I too can stiffen.
A beautiful thing about teaching one another in church is that as more people contribute, the clearer and stronger the message becomes. So it is with church membership as a whole. We strengthen eachother. We strengthen our ability to learn. We strengthen eachothers' resolve. We strengthen our understanding. We share our stories. We reserve our judgments with understanding that we are all struggling and striving. We remember that power exists. We remember science. We remember God. And we are reminded that only the gospel is constantly relevant, and the substitute things won’t work.