Tension can act as a transformational force in faith communities where people decide to respond to it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.
I used to think the best way to deal with a challenging situation was to figure out how to cheer up the people involved. If I walked into a room and sensed that people were uneasy, I’d immediately shift into “fix it” mode and try to make them smile with small talk and kind gestures.
But even with the best of intentions, my cheerful efforts weren’t all that helpful. By avoiding uncomfortable feelings in myself and others, I disrupted natural patterns of evolution, growth, and change.
I’m learning there’s another way: embracing a spirituality of tension. God is at work inside of disequilibrium – ever-extending us the wisdom, grace, and courage to go deeper. Tension can serve as a kind of fuel that leads to transformation in households, congregations, and communities.
This message is excerpted from “The spirituality of tension” by Emily Carson in the August 2021 Cafe online magazine.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.