"The adult, unlike the adolescent, can live with ambiguity."
The image of Jesus on the cross sees him holding his arms out wide, in opposite directions. Could it be that one arm is reaching out to all that is wrong in life, while the other arm is reaching out for God’s grace? Looking at him, it is as if he holds together these two apparent opposites, without succumbing to the pull of evil. It is a remarkable image and an even more remarkable statement; Jesus shows that it is possible, in human life, to live with ambiguity!
Too often life can be painted in black and white. In our younger years, when we first develop a sense of ourselves, we can easily fall into the trap of thinking that all that matters is how I see things. But, this is a stage that we must grow through and ultimately leave behind, because if we remain in perpetual adolescence we will never come to maturity, and never discover the truth that Jesus revealed on the cross.
What separates adulthood from adolescence is the understanding that there is a way of seeing things that is bigger than mine, a life that is more than mine, and an agenda that is different from mine. The struggle to come to this realisation involves letting go of many of the things that have comforted, supported and reassured me along the way.
Can I bear the tension of holding together conflicting forces in life without succumbing to the worst of them? Can I hold together the inner forces that pull me apart without becoming something less than my true self? Can I let go of the things that have comforted and supported me all through life? Is it humanly possible to live with these ambiguities? Look at Jesus on the cross. He did it, and so can you!
Rev. Willie Boyd