By Greg Primm
Something’s been bothering me for far too long. It’s a question some of my friends and I talk about from time to time, but mostly we just ignore it. We ignore it, push it down. But it keeps popping into my mind lately.
How am I supposed to reconcile these two pictures?
The first is a picture of my house. It may be smaller or bigger than your house, but I guarantee that your house doesn’t look like the second picture of the destruction caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti.
How do I reconcile the fact that I have so much while others have so little? That just because I happened to be born in America, my life is easy compared to those in numerous countries around the world.
What about this word, reconciliation? For the longest time, I didn’t understand the concept in the framework of the church. I’ve heard since I was a child that Christ is the reconciliation between God and man. I just nodded as if I understood what that meant, never really taking the time to figure it out.
In my job as an accountant, I reconcile things all the time. Bank statements, balancing the books, financial reports — all have to be reconciled to make sure they are accurate.
The process of reconciliation is largely understanding the differences between two things and seeking to make the differences as small as possible.
I do this in my job everyday, but somehow in the rest of my life, it’s not so easy. I’m here, someone else is over there. I live in one house, they live in the other. I have plenty, while they have little. That’s just the way its supposed to be, right?
I know the answer is a resounding “no”, but it’s only recently that I’ve been able to verbalize what I’m supposed to do. After all, how can I make a difference? How can my family make a dent in the inequities I see in the world? Should I feel pity sadness guilt?
I finally realized that I shouldn’t be concerned as much with the how big the gap appears to be between the two pictures above, but instead should focus my energy on how to shrink the gap between the two. If I focus on the size of the gap, I’ll do nothing. If I focus on just making a difference, however small, suddenly I can start moving. It’s only through a process of reconciliation that I can hope to make a difference.
It won’t be easy. Reconciliation requires me to:
Go where I don’t want to go and talk to people who are different from me.
Give more than I want to and consume less than I need.
Care more, judge less.
Watch less, do more.
Time to get to work . . .