In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet is led before officials of the city by the priests and others seeking his death. They cannot find reason to condemn him, yet Jeremiah places himself in their hands to do as they will. In any case, he tells them, he has said the words that God has given him, and his death won’t change the message.
Christ also is led before the court with false accusations by religious leaders. He also submits himself to their rule, despite His innocence and the Divine nature of his message.
In Isaiah it is prophesied that the wolf will lay down with the lamb. Then follows a series of things all diametrically opposed to one another. They are paradoxes; things that should not be together but nevertheless are. These images are touted as symbols of peace, and maybe they are, but there is much tension in a paradox. “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword,” says Christ.
That tension seems to be the sum of my days recently. Keeping balance is an ever-present task. Sometimes we talk about balance as if when we reach the balancing point, we can relax. I do not think that moment ever comes.
Jeremiah surrenders his life; he is saved. Uriah flees to save his life; he is captured and executed. It is a paradox. Whoever finds his life will lose it; whoever loses it will find it.
Motherhood is a paradox. When my first was born, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to go back to normal and keep ahold of “myself” as separate from motherhood. The more children we added, the more difficult that became, and the more stressed I became. After my sixth, I finally yielded that. It’s not that I stopped taking care of myself. It’s that I stopped caring so much about it. Everything still happened as normal, but I could breathe.
When we reflexively strive for peace, will we find it?