It was the second to last night on our honeymoon cruise. We sat in the large theater awaiting another fun show, but as the lights dimmed ushering in the nights entertainment, we suddenly found our selves in an experience beyond our expectations and the simple adjectives we had been ready to ascribe the entertainment. Suddenly a single spotlight appeared on stage, and there bathed in the soft blue light came one man and one woman. The woman thin and elegant, walking with grace and beauty. And the man thick with muscle and striding with visible strength and confidence. Then, with a hushed audience on the edge of their seats… the music began and pulled the two performers into a beautiful, skillful and exhilarating dance. We watched with held breath and pounding hearts as the dancers/acrobats moved skillfully to the epic music, perfectly juxtaposed in a performance and he and his trained strength lifted with ease his partner as she balanced with skill and beauty upon his hands, both of them complimenting the other.
Love and Law, Grace and Truth- these conflicting ideas are concepts at the center of so many us who desire to make the world a better place. But how? How could two seemingly opposite ideas be found so often among the same kind of people- people who desire to help and see a difference made for good?
All to often I think we separate something God designed to be served together. I think as humans we have a tendency to grab one aspect of God’s beautiful design/nature and run with it leaving others behind-But, understandably so…
When I see and feel the deep, real and ever-present pain, and hurt in the world, I look to God and ask for love. And when I realize I cannot do it on my own after failing yet again I ask “God please give me grace” and he does. But not the way I think it will be.
But then when I stand back and see the the atrocities of violence, depravity, and injustice in the world a tightness in my chest begins to squeeze and I feel a (what I believe to be) a righteous anger well inside of me and I again look at God and cry “bring justice here! Take down the evil and vindictive and immoral people who seek to destroy and cause pain and selfishly fulfill their carnal desires at the expense of others, sometimes even in your name! God bring your truth to their lies!”. And He does, but not the way I think.
When I think of how strongly I have felt these two seemingly conflicting ideas, I can’t help but wonder if maybe all to often we discard a part of God’s nature, that we simply understand or want less; whether that be love or justice, truth or grace, mind or heart.
God is the creator of everything, a master-artist, and choreographer of the dance between love and truth.
Apart from each other (dancing alone) these concepts are either weak or perhaps un-beautiful- but together combining their skills and gifts, the stability of Truth can elevate and give strength to Love, as Love makes the foundations which she rests upon more beautiful.
I know there is a tendency to want to embrace only one side of the dance (truth or love, law or grace, justice or mercy) but what would happen if instead of taking one a leaving the other we learned the steps god has created for both and joined into the dance that was made to change the world when carried out in the perfect unison they were designed with.
I would love to hear your thoughts, and even examples of how you’ve seen these different aspects working together. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject on a whole.