September 07, 2015

Snakes and Doves

Prior to worship a little four year-old girl stood in the fellowship area of the church and told the pastor’s wife about a bee sting she’d gotten on the end of her finger. Her fingers were so delicate and tiny that I can only imagine how the sting must have hurt. A few feet away from the conversation the little girl’s mother prompted, “Yes … and ask her how it happened?” The child was a little timid and slow to respond so her mother answered for her, “She was petting a bumblebee.” Looking up at the pastor’s wife a half-smile crossed the little girl’s face and she nodded her head in agreement. I love this image of innocence and trust, but it caused me to consider that as an adult I’ve lost some of those qualities. When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples he said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matt 10:16 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----In the early-80’s I read a book titled, “Styles of Thinking” by Harrison and Bramson. It discussed five different approaches to problem solving and provided a “test” for determining the prominent thought styles of the testee. My testing showed that I predominantly used an analytical approach, and amongst that, or maybe the mental constraints by which I applied that, was realism. But the style I found really interesting and tested as also using, the one to which I felt a strong affinity and began to more consciously develop, was synthesism, the effort to find a way opposites can contribute towards a common cause.
-----I’m supposing the reason synthesism has so tightly held my attention is that we live in a world made of opposites inevitably moving into the hands of a righteous God. He created the perfect world. Man abandoned His influence of truth for Satan’s of deceit. It’s good that God did not execute His “wickedness can not stand in the presence of the Holy, Almighty God” thing. For there was a transcending importance in what must play out of all the suffering to come. And though good and evil are irreconcilable opposites, they came to necessarily inhabit the same little planet.
-----Not only have they inhabited the same planet, they also comprise the same heart and mind in each person and in all of peoples’ groupings, struggles, and simple mundane activities. This is the life powered by death in which goodness exists not only in spite of evil, but most often is furthered by evil’s participation. For the cow to live plants die. For the man to live cows die. Every living thing has eaten some other living thing to be alive (practically correct, but not technically.) And even spiritual life in this place thrives upon death.
-----This admixture is how a little girl gets stung loving a bee. It is how the Lord’s disciple is expected to forgive everything. It is how we live peaceably in a tumultuous world. And it causes sacrifice. We’re familiar with that word. Even the one perfect man became sin. And now all imperfect men have received the opportunity to become perfect, and have become perfect though they are yet sinners submitted to Jesus Christ. For lies and lawlessness one afternoon brought God Himself to be hanging on a tree. I think God is the consummate synthesist, for He is able to work good out of everything (Rom 8:28.)

Love you all,
Steve Corey