Enduring Dissonance

I am back in New York City after almost two weeks away. This was a monumental occasion, because as I think back over the past thirteen years of my residency in this crazy, fabulous city, I realize that it has been ten years since I spent more than two weeks away (for my incredible, life-changing journey to Mozambique and Malawi in the summer of 2002).

It was a relief to be gone, but I missed it every day. I missed the view of the water towers from my daugther’s bedroom; I missed my local coffee shop; I missed the church; I missed the Easter River as seen from the Manhattan Bridge; I missed the energy AND the attitude. But, boy, was I glad to be gone. Air-conditioned cars and houses. Cavernous malls. Vast and empty playgrounds. The neighborhood pool. The whole trip filled me with a sense of dissonance (I like this definition: a simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion).

I’ve also just completed the Book of Judges (I lower my eyes in shame…) and it is nothing if not filled with the discordant quality of our Scriptures. So I’m preaching on that this week in church, using one of the stories of King David that appear in our lectionary this summer, along with the story in Mark’s Gospel of Jesus’ return to his hometown of Nazareth. Expecting to be greeted with kindness, maybe even a little pride in a local boy ‘done good,’ his neighbors take offense at his wisdom and his healings. Talk about dissonance!
What about you? Have you encountered dissonance during this journey through the Bible, or in your faith journey more generally? Where have the unresolvable conflicts touched you? And how have you chosen to see your way through?
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About RevMcC

I am a pastor, licensed social worker, consultant and workshop leader. I live in Brooklyn, NY, (the greatest place ever) with my husband and two children (the greatest people ever). I am an unqualified extrovert and lover of God. I try to live my life with gratitude, wonder, curiosity and attention.
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