As I read and listen to people interact with each other on a variety of social issues, I realize we are at a point where more talk and opinion will do little to change anyone’s mind. We each have our reasons and evidence to support our position. Realizing this impasse, we are left with two options. We can choose to distance ourselves from existing relationships that hold an opposing point of view or we can get a handle on our emotions and move forward with our relationships choosing to not resort to shame, mockery, or separation from those who see life through a differing lens of understanding.
I like to hike in the mountains of southern Oregon. Over the years, I have discovered relics of past inhabitants, especially items left behind by the gold rush miners. Old rusted wood-fired stoves, rock tailings from mining operations, and items like the ones in the photo I attached of an old miner’s pick and hoe. Both items were discovered without the wooden handles that had long ago rotted away under the elements.
The pick and hoe tools remind me of the truth about any cultural topic. The “handles” that connect us to that truth, can be our emotions, our preferred research, or our personality disposition. These issues will determine how the implement is wielded. We may have a position of truth but if we try to wield that truth without love and respect, it would be like a miner trying to dig a mining claim with only the tool head and no handle attached. It would be exhausting, disheartening, and futile. This reminds me of Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus where he said a mark of Christian maturity is our ability to speak the truth in love. What attaches us to any expression of truth is as important as the truth itself.