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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bringing Kleenex to a Gun Fight… and Winning

CRISES, I find, are just as potent for hearing God as ever. God warned me:
“You’re bringing Kleenex to a gun fight, so watch out for how this is going to play out!”
The fact of the matter is we’re so poorly equipped to fight the battles we must fight that we’re easily knocked to the ground. We don’t anticipate the battles the enemy is bringing our way, and we usually don’t have anywhere near the poise we need to respond in an appropriate way. Little wonder that we’re floored most of the time. We’re bringing Kleenex to a gun fight. Sounds like not only a waste of time, but a perilous waste. Certain defeat is inevitable.
But there’s the reverse of this situation — the only way to fight in a gun fight is to fight back with the Kleenex. And this is the way life works through what life expects of our response. Whilst the world normally fights back in a gun fight with a gun, the world also resents it when we fight in a gun fight with a gun. Inevitably a pistol dual wreaks casualties. Gun fights make problems worse.
Whilst the world’s default is ‘an eye for an eye’ our common sense should say to us that fighting that way backfires most of the time. What seems most just is actually foolish. What is really wise is doing what nobody really thinks (or wants) to do… unless you have something of the humility of Jesus.
Bringing Kleenex to a gun fight is fighting by the faith that suggests love is a supreme answer — for which it is — if not in this life, certainly in the next (and that should be good enough for any Christian).
Kleenex suggests more than a modicum of empathy. A gun suggests counterattack will be required.
Life brings war on many personal levels daily, but the only way life works is if we fight to bring peace to every conflict.
Life only works out well when we bring a good response to the battles that infuse themselves to our experience.
Every day has a hundred or more battles which we don’t know about, yet life (the people who are important to us, that is) expects us to respond graciously.
Another way to look at it is this:
War and peace,
The first has casualties,
The second brings release.
Life is war yet we must bring peace. War has casualties, and wherever there’s such destruction we can assured there’s much tension. Peace brings release and healing and space for wholeness to return.
The wisdom of life is converting many battles of unexpected war into peace that lasts.
As it turned out I was glad that God saw fit to remind me of the terrible battle that could be waged against me the very next morning — a potential battle of life or death. God knew that I knew that I’d have to have a worthy Kleenex response to tidy that sort of mess up.
Only as we wait on him in the moment do we receive grace enough to reach for the Kleenex and not grapple in our gun cupboard.
Life brings us to war daily, yet life also expects us to make peace with each battle.
It’s not the battles that are brought to bear that count, but our response. Our response can amend any battle.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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