Us and Them



It’s in our D & A. Rivalry.

In the early days of Covid my girlfriend said its not what it is doing to us, but what it is revealing to us. It exposed brokenness in almost every major department on the globe. And investigations of each broken part are flooding us with details. And from there everyone is taking sides. In a way it’s dividing us further. Polarizing us. Forcing sides. The internet has allowed us to pick our camps and remain well insulated there. We’re in a worldwide ‘us and them,’ first with the pandemic and then in its splinters revealed in a million factions by the week, by the millions.


There seems to be a human genetic that is built-in to enlivening us, when one side tries to out-do the other. And so becomes an embittered battleground where violence escalates. There are so many mountainous issues on the table apart from Covid: governments, nuclear arms, climate change, homelessness, White Lives Matter, Police brutality, homophobia, world religions, the list grows daily.


And it seems if you’re not all-in on one side, it seems you’re automatically defaulted to the other. It happened in my own MS community when I declined the DMT’s (disease modifying drugs - daily-injection-for-the-rest-of-my-life) recommendation out of the gate thirteen years ago. Unbeknownst to me, I went against everything my neurologist went to medical school for and therefore for put me in his ‘bad’ books. An anti-drug, alternative health ‘them’ reputation still follows me today.


As individual intricacies are reported daily and you start gathering the facts, listening to the experts, you see it’s not so cut and dry. Compelling evidence from reputable sources pull and tug at you in every direction. Nothing is what it seems. Where does one stand? How do we determine our allegiance? What do we think? There has to be a middle ground sbut where?

I like what Jean writes about in Manna about The Kingdom of Heaven (page 144) is not a place. She writes about the parables (Matt 13-24-43), the mustard tree in particular. How giant it grows from the tiniest of seeds. To give shelter, rest, to all who are weary and broken, the fearful. But she masterfully points out it is not the place, the tree, that provides, it is in the seed. The yeast. That is where the magic it. That makes it grows so large. That is where God’s strength and power are.


And I hate to say it, but here’s where the S word comes in. Sin is what separates us from God. The wages of sin are death. (Prov 10:16) We are not punished for our sins, we are punished by them. Is that not what the world is experiencing now? A death of many sorts. And until we can own our parts, repent of them, nothing will really change.


We are created by God for God and subject to His precepts whether we like it or not. And sin separates us from him whether we believe it or not. There is such thing as divine justice but sadly we like to say it isn’t so and continue writing our own playbook. Whether it’s a life of leisure or busyness, whether we cross the street not wanting to get involved, or feed our obsessions and addictions, we stay separated. Stay separated long enough and we pull up anchor altogether loosing any reference points, or maybe never had any to begin with.


But there is good news. There is transformation and resurrection. There is forgiveness and hope. Peace and joy. Protection and security. That’s exactly why Jesus died. To save us and set us anew. And we access it by asking. By abiding in Him. In his teachings.


The ‘us and them’ will continue throughout the ages. The more we try to get to the bottom of an issue, the crazier we drive ourselves. The solution is not which side we’re on but in the yeast. The seed of love to grow into outstretched arms to meet the other side.


I recently came across a sign: Can we the people open up our collective third eye. I thought it was brilliant.


Lets stop reaching for a destination and start reaching for the elixir of God’s forgiveness, love, peace and non-violence.


Because after all, it will take us where we want to go much faster.

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