Conflict and Comfort

Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God. (Isaiah 40:1 NIV)

“How easy, but untrue, to tell ourselves the rest of the world is experiencing the perfect holiday, and we’re alone in conflict.” (Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go)

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Conflict and comfort. Two seemingly disparate concepts, yet Christmas is full of both. Even the birth of the baby Jesus evokes conflict, as well as comfort, if we are honest. Comfort in knowing that a Savior is born. Conflict in explaining this disruption of God into history. To accept it as miracle or to dissect it to prove the truth?

Constant conflict surrounds me and you, and surfaces in our hearts, when really all we desire is comfort.

Let’s see if we can deconstruct these two words for a little clarity.

Con+Flict=With+To Strike. A conflict causes us to strike out either mentally, emotionally or physically with someone else, or even with ourselves. Two opposing ideas sparring for first place in our heart.

Yet, conflict is necessary for growth, for understanding and for belief. If everything made sense, I would have no questions. No need to be on a quest for comfort and contentment. Conflict makes me aware of my need. Conflict gives our story its motivation.

Com+Fort=With+Strong. God knows we need comfort, hope and strength. He instructs Isaiah to comfort His people. He says it twice for emphasis, knowing that we are in constant need of reassurance.

It is easy to lie to ourselves. I speak collectively because it is so easy to imagine that we are alone. To cling to the false idea that everyone else is having a better time than us. We will experience conflict. We can assure each other with comfort. Be confident of this: God is WITH us and FOR us.

I leave you with some musings about Jesus’ family and life:

 

the holy family,
frightened and fierce:
did they ever have fun
or fight?

was Jesus their
son alone?
there is record
of brothers and sisters
who question and cajol,
doubt and ridicule him

to lose your son to
capital punishment
at age 33, even if it
was part of God’s plan
doesn’t really diminish
the loss, the pain

what a surprise
when she hears reports
that her son who was
tortured and died,
is now alive

a shock?
hard to believe?
when did she first see him
alive? did she rush to him
with a mother’s love? did she
cry when he left again?

a fiery wind courses
through her heart
when she hears tongues
speaking in many languages
pouring forth the wonders
of God, the very same wonder
she held in her womb and
arms, once in time

2 thoughts on “Conflict and Comfort

  1. Kel,

    Thank you for your reflections and musings this Christmas. You are a blessing in your person and in your writings. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Love, Marijo

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