Saturday 4th Week Lent

PHOTO: LAURENCE FREEMAN
John 4:40-53: So a division occurred in the crowd because of him

You have only to be truthful to cause trouble. But it’s a different kind of trouble when you are untruthful. You have to decide what kind of troublemaker you will be. Perhaps most people want to avoid causing any trouble because they are frightened of a backlash; but eventually we all have to decide. Are we going to tell the truth, to live the truth or to hide behind platitudes and half-truths?

Trouble means conflict and conflict means division. Division frequently means violence. A heightened level of awareness can prevent this sequence from unfolding and allow us to make the right decision to be truthful even when this carries a high cost. The truth will set you free. When meditators experience this incremental liberation from fear and evasion, they more readily come out into the open to say what they really mean. And they stand on the side of those in need rather than merely on the side of those who will be the likely winners in a conflict.

At first this is uncomfortable, like going out into the winter cold from a warm house. You may be well-wrapped up but the cold still seems to creep in through the gaps or to attack your teeth as you walk along puffing with your mouth open. But then, after a while, your walking in the cold air produces warmth and the cold itself becomes a stimulant. You are making friends with the winter and you are surprised by your own resilience.

In the mysterious paradoxes of reality it can often happen that divisions are necessary to create healing and a stronger union. We break the bread in order to share it and be brought into unity. The mystery here is that of separation, which is necessary for us to know ourselves before we can give ourselves to another, to God. We know this because we are like God and God knows it as the coming days will remind us.
 
 
With love
Laurence
 
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