Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The Other Side of Things

One of my professors isn't very open to the way I look at things. After the close of the semester (or so I thought), I received one of my papers back in the mail. His notes and questions were all over it. He asked things that were difficult for me to answer; he wanted more "proof" in the form of quotes from theologians and backup data. I looked at his handwriting and shook my head.

This man is very cerebral, very intellectual. I tend to learn and write from my heart, having given up trying to "think my way to God" a long time ago. Now he's asking me to climb back up in my brain and communicate on his level. As I think about it, I realize that I'm not very open to the way he looks at things.

We've all heard that "the faults we see in others are our own and the resentments we hold against others are the same we hold against ourselves" (I just read this in my devotions in In God's Care this morning, in fact). But do we really believe it? I can see that my resistance to my professor's way of approaching God mirrors what I think is his resistance to mine. Is this really a through-the-looking-glass world? I think it is; more than we know. I'm going to go back to that paper with a willing heart and as open a mind as I can muster, praying all the while that God will show me how to bridge that gap between our understandings in a way that we can connect and ultimately learn from each other. I can't imagine how I'll be able to get from here to there, but I think being willing is a good first step.

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