Monday, 22 March 2010

Day 29 - The Place where its hard to be

Great Transforming Conflict course last week. We were worked hard, not only thinking about the hard places where conflict is destructive, but also where it can be transformative and by using a variety of different methods, we were taught some skills to enable people to engage with what is happening and move on.

The key is discerning the right approach for the right occasion - putting across a firm viewpoint in a meeting, for example is very different to getting a whole church to engage with difference and change. But it is by addressing the discomfort, and talking about it, that people can begin to move together, rather than stay apart.

During the course, conflict was described as a crucible - a place of heat, which can be used for good. Standing in that place as a facilitator, or mediator is not easy, and takes both self awareness and self confidence. It can be the place which attracts most of the fire and anger, it certainly is an enabling place, and can be a liberating place. Most people have a natural tendancy to avoid conflict, but by working with it, instead of emotions being buried, they can be expressed and healing can take place.

As we approach Holy Week, I am aware how often Christ stood in that hard place, and how he stands in it still, with us, longing for reconciliation and peace. On the final day of the course we were asked to do something creative to express what we had learned. I wrote this poem:

Standing in the hard place,
aware of pain around
searching for wisdom
knowing that God heals.
Sensing the tension.
Naming it and letting it flow down
and along
and away
and so slowly people trust
you and one another
and move on....and on....
and together.
Until hands that once formed fists
clasp one another in love.
Standing in the hard place
and finally stepping away.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this blog entry which addresses issues that have been much on my mind. I have linked to it.