A historic look at several myths perpetuated by Titanic movies that, in reality, are closer to being gray than black and white.
Dr. Kelly Flanagan on how the key to community building (or dissolving) is, clearly, preventing differences of opinions/ideas from erupting into irrevocable chasms and violent conflict. For me, this goes back to the perspective of never assuming the worst in a person. There is a story behind everyone’s situation and if we took the time and effort to understand that, I truly believe it would do wonders for all our various communities:
In fact, sometimes, conflict can be the beginning of authentic community.
Several years ago, I stumbled into a particularly heated marijuana debate between two acquaintances—not a couple of half-baked high school kids raging against “the man,” but two highly educated professionals. One man was militantly in favor of legalizing marijuana, the other man violently opposed to it. And they wanted my opinion. I remember feeling a sense of dread, like I was wading into dangerous waters, with hungry things swimming beneath the murky surface. The debate did not go well. They never do.
Only later, on the way home, did I get a glimpse beneath the surface of those ideological waters. My wife explained that the legalization advocate had recently watched his father die a slow and excruciating death from cancer, while marijuana was the only thing that relieved his father’s pain. And, as it turns out, the marijuana opponent had been raised in a family torn apart by drug addiction. That’s when I realized what was floating beneath the surface of these competing ideas.
The stories of two hurting people. Stories of pain and anguish and loss. Stories that have formed their ideas and opinions and beliefs. Stories that have delivered them to a natural conclusion about the way the world should work. A person’s ideas are never simply their ideas. Opinions and beliefs are never born in a vacuum. They are the logical result of a story. The intensity of any given opinion usually depends upon the intensity of the story that gave rise to it. If you want to understand a person’s ideas, you need to understand who they are and the story that has been told with their lives.
RC Sproul Jr. on new lessons and experiences he’s gained as more and more time has passed since his wife’s death. In a lot of ways, I think he is experiencing what CS Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken experienced before him – a severe mercy:
As I look back on that morning, however, somehow now I look back alone. Of course I still cry. I still mourn, even as I type. I miss her laughter, her hand, her beautiful eyes. But somehow as time moves on what I end up missing is the comfort and closeness she somehow gave even after she had gone. She doesn’t sit beside me when I’m alone in the car anymore. She doesn’t look over my shoulder when I am typing and crying alone anymore. Somehow the more time passes, the farther she is gone, not because I am forgetting her, but because I am remembering her. The great heartbreak is that she is now becoming my past, rather than my ever present.
Denise was carried by Jesus out of the valley of the shadow of death. She now dances with Him on the mountain of the lightness of life. She has, rightly, wisely, and through the very love of our Savior, left me. And I feel lost. By His grace, however, I have a path to follow. For His pierced feet leave bloody prints all the way out of the valley, all the way up the mountain. I will follow Him, who promised to be with me, even until the end of the age. He is a blessed man to dance with her. I am a blessed man to follow Him.