Mark 9:40

He who is not against us is for us.

you’ve heard it said
those not against you
are for you

that works
in partisan politics
but not in community

for it is as true
those not for you
are against you

to change hearts
behaviors need clarifying
choices are to be made

It is so easy to go looking for trouble. We take one slight variation of our belief structure to threaten the whole of our imaginative edifice. In turn we threaten to do in anyone who deviates in the smallest of jots and tittles.

The repetition here reminds us that when repetition is present we are to engage an extra pause to reflect on the connection of the repetition to our life. Usually this marks one of the places we easily go astray.

Time and again we need to begin with an understanding that people are doing the best they can with what they have available.

When someone does a good deed, a tikkun olam, that bridges a gap within another or between others, it is as though Jesus had done it. This is what partners do—live for one another. So, if a good is done under the aegis of our hero we claim the doer as an ally. If a good is simply done without an attribution, we claim the doer as an ally.

It is not the attribution of motive that makes the difference, but the very real help that is done. It is too easy to operate out of the motivational axis as a point of judgment. If we did it then it must be virtuous and if someone else did it out of a different motivation then it must be vicious and we are justified in being violent toward them.

There are overtones here of a golden rule. That which you wish done to you, presume that the arrival of your wish is not dependent upon the person, but their deed.

This is a basis of a much needed intersectionality. Wikipedia describes intersectionality as: “Intersectionality is a theory that considers that various human aspects, such as class, race, sexual orientation and gender, do not exist isolated and separated from each other, but have complex, influential and interwoven relationships, and those relationships are essential to understanding of the human condition.”

Seeing connections with others beyond our particular issue sets our molehill into a larger perspective (reduces the gaps in our life).

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