Three year residential seminary can be a pressure cooker. It is intimate, intentional community, where everyone knows your business. While there are times of shared joy and celebration, there are often just as many times of angst and discord.
Early on in my first semester at Sewanee, there was a particular moment of disagreement in a class (what the disagreement was, I do not recall). However, I do remember my classmate’s response to the conflict. He leaned over and said, “things are starting to get crispy.” Now perhaps he meant chippy. I never really asked. What I do know is that “things are getting crispy” became a mantra for our group of friends every time conflict stirred.
I felt some “crispiness” twice this morning. In one case, I was a mere observer to crispiness between two people. In the other, I was the source of crispiness towards others.
As our new temporary reality lingers, our manners can begin to disappear, our gentleness and patience with each other can begin to dull, and we can find ourselves acting out of character. It’s in moments like these that we must press pause, take a breath, and recall the character of God that is imprinted on all human hearts.
Psalm 116:5 says, “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” These characteristics of God should not be lost on any of us, God’s very good handiwork, for we are made in His image, and thus able and called to live in this way.
Brothers and sisters, live this day and always, in the love of God and the truth of Christ, by showing compassion, being gracious, and living rightly through the power of the Holy Spirit.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, keep you safe and make you strong, this day, this night, and always. Amen.