At the End of Safety

Pain, change, two words that regrettably belong together. My life and yours confirm this verbal wedding. When I point to best and worst my finger touches the same event. The transformation I want normally comes from things I do not want. In my journey, the things I would never choose to go through again are those that have left me different….and yet I still wouldn’t choose to walk those paths again, ever.

I suppose this is how transformation works… we don’t choose it, we are far too weak. Change assaults us….it does not ask for permission, it does not listen to our feeble objections. No, it’s author cares far too much about giving us what we truly need. We are divinely placed into the transformational rhythm of death and resurrection. True change always entails conformity to the pattern of Christ, Good Friday then Easter morning. These are two days that painfully, but thankfully belong together.

James Baldwin in a book titled Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son makes a profound point about the devastation that is change.

“Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long cherished or a privilege he has long possessed that he is set free – he has set himself free – for higher dreams, for greater privileges.”

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