One of the unexpected pieces of beginning this Lenten discipline of blogging prior to leaving for St. Croix is that each night I write under the stars, listening to the rhythmic roll of the waves upon the beach. There is a soothing rhythm to the waves, and a comfort in the consistency of the stars.
Such things offer life rafts in the midst of a mission week because, at this midpoint, personalities start to chafe one another. No serious conflicts (fortunately), but idiosyncrasies quickly become points of contention when you live, work, play, and worship in such close quarters.
The beauty of this is that, like waves and stars, part of the development of a relationship is in the crash. Waves offer their music only as they crash upon a beach. Stars offer their light only as particles crash into one another. But these collisions offer solace and light, bring us sea stars and sun tans, wash over us to clean us and to invigorate us.
Crashing is not always a bad thing.
In fact, conflict can lead to personal and communal development, if we deal with it healthfully. For our group, my prayer is that we face it head on, not fearing the potential conflicts but instead embracing the hope that, if we do well by our crashes, we might burn brighter than ever as we point to the Son, and offer the consistent waves of mercy to a world in constant need of grace.
Simultaneously a sinner and a saint.