When I read Kate Mataung’s blog for her fiveminutefriday prompt DISAGREE I wanted to shout out in total AGREEMENT. We each have a different experience of life, which colours our views, but I totally agree with Kate that we seem to be forgetting how to explore each other’s position politely.
I glanced up from my screen and saw the chess board and carved stone figures I bought when I was teaching in Kenya. Their serried ranks are the epitome of disagreement, and if unresolved the inevitable result is a battle. I love the pinkish colours of the Kisii stone stone, which is soft but easily fractured. Over the years some of the pieces have lost their heads in fierce fought family battles, or tantrums! One piece is missing and has had to be replaced with a lego brick.
On mission with Flame International, we often read Psalm 133, where the Lord bestows blessing on those who live in unity. I do not always agree with my colleagues, reactions to strange food vary, and political views are difficult to predict, but we know that unity with each other, and a focus on the healing power of the Holy Spirit are crucial when leading peace and reconciliation workshops in post conflict areas.
Last night I listened to an online lecture by Loretta Ross on ‘Appropriate Whiteness’. She called on those who identify as white neither to feel guilt, nor to ‘call out’ those with neo-Fascist views but to ‘call in’ those with whom we disagree and work through the complexities of our different positions. This helps in many kinds of disagreement. She reminded us that it needs courage and determination to be true to our own values. Thank you, Loretta, for a great talk.
I love Africa and have been to South Sudan many times on peace and reconciliation missions, working with the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. I taught near Kisumu, Kenya in the 1970’s.