Which side am I on?

We cannot see what lies ahead. But the paths we’ve known are falling away. Photo: Above Sweet Creek Falls. Mary Sharon Moore


Approx. read time: 1:45 min.

The question rises with each new war, each new armoring up, each new political twist of fate: Which side am I on?

The question is unhelpful and, frankly, exhausting. 

Taking sides has never solved anything. It only leads to entrenched warfare—verbal, emotional, ideological, or in devastating displays of power on the world stage.

The side-taking dualistic mind is the corrosive work of ego: unhelpful, and also exhausting. We seem to careen from one fierce loyalty to the next. Or, when we feel uncertain, we keep a low profile in the muffled, dispassionate middle.

Which side am I on? I’ll be honest with you …

I’m on the side of Humility, which is the capacity to admit to the broken-hearted God my share of humanity’s tragic incompleteness.

I’m on the side of Compassion, the enfleshed accompaniment of those who suffer, at the risk of being touched and changed by their suffering.

I’m on the side of Hospitality, always a revelation of divine generosity, welcoming the lonely or estranged other, who may not be able to receive my care as I wish.

I’m on the side of Honesty, the simple, uncomplicated admission that we all need each other, even if these others are not the ones we would have chosen.

I stand with the Beatitudes: with the poor in spirit, with those who mourn, the meek. 

I stand with those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean-hearted ones. 

I stand with peacemakers everywhere, and with all who are persecuted for the sake of truth and righteousness.

I stand with the Truth: I must love my enemies. Except, I can’t think of who they are. I see only tragically incomplete human beings, wounding other tragically incomplete human beings. And I stand among them all, weeping with the broken-hearted God.

I stand with the women who keep silent witness to the power of Love at the site of every tragic crucifixion in our times: Life poured out in war zones, when all we wanted was Peace.

Be courageous. Live in peace. Love one another.

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