It is late, I am tired, and I have to get up early this morning, but I have too much on my mind to sleep. Tonight, after long and fascinating conversation at dinner, I managed to enjoy the last part of the family dance, where I was able to find some young women to dance with and converse with. Looking around, it felt as if no one wanted to leave and let the night end. The Winter Family Weekend this year was bittersweet. It felt as if there was unfinished business, as if there were people there that I might never see again in this life. It’s a lot to think about and ponder.
Looking around, I saw lots of young people sitting together around tables just talking long after the music ended, unwilling to say goodbye. Others, who were already saying goodbye, had left long before. During the weekend I felt happy to be free from bickering and fighting for a while—no one who wanted to argue sought me out, and I found plenty of people who were looking for encouragement and support themselves. It was good to be among old friends, new friends, and faithful allies.
Today felt more like an ending than most such events do. It is not only the ending of a weekend spent with people who are not of like mind as much as had often appeared to be the case on the surface, but also the start of a new beginning. There is a lot of unfinished business, which can hopefully begin to be finished. It seems so much time has been wasted running around in circles that it is time to tackle some issues long kept quiet and ignored.
During the brief time I wish to stay awake tonight before I attempt to sleep for a little while, I would like to get into one such issue.
Too often in the past problems have been under rug swept when they have been brought up by members. Ordinary front-line people in an organization are like canaries in a coal mine, and when problems pop up they will often first be noticed at the lowest levels. People who mistreat those without recourse or defenders will eventually turn on others, including longtime friends and associates. We are only as good as we treat those who cannot benefit us and who cannot protect themselves from us. Too often problem after problem has been ignored because of the brotherly relationship between ministers that has not often extended all the way to ordinary members. Too often sin has been covered up because it was inconvenient to deal with or address and because it was uncovered by people who were not important enough. This has to stop if we are to develop the sort of unity we need.
Who knows what will happen in coming days? Will families divide even more? Will people have to say goodbye to friends they have known for many years, perhaps never to be as close again? There is so much to take in, so much to ponder and analyze, and I wonder if there is time enough to do it all in the midst of so much that has been undone for so long that urgently needs attention. I suppose time will tell. It is hard to make sense of history while it is still going on. Later on, God willing, there will be the time to make sense of it all. Until then, we all must stumble in the dark, seeing through a glass darkly in search of the light.