By Kristi Grussendorf
“Where can you lean into discomfort in your own life for the sake of growth/transformation?” This was the question asked by our Pastor Emily a couple of Zoom Bible study sessions ago. This question already found me in the midst of a lot of “discomfort.” I had written a letter several weeks earlier to my Trump supporting mother and brother. I shared my views on politics and race and how I just didn’t understand how they could justify their continued position in light of their professed values and faith.
I grew up in a conservative, patriarchal household and I learned quickly to stay quiet and not voice any disagreement if I wanted peace. This new truth telling sister/daughter was not well received. I started my letter out with the statement that this was who I was and they had to either accept me as a whole, or not at all. The verdict is still out. I think the hope for many in my family is that I will go back to that comfortable role that I’ve played for so long. It doesn’t feel right to have a relationship where I can’t be my authentic self, or where I have to pretend to be someone else and have belief systems with which I don’t agree. I’m not holding my breath for transformation but God has surprised me in the past, so who knows?!
Relationships are messy, right? The part that scares me the most is, what if I find out that the people I’ve known, loved and maybe even admired are not who I thought they were? If I had
just kept my mouth shut, I would never have known for sure. I guess it’s just gotten to the point that I don’t have the patience or the time for shallow relationships. I want to really know the people in my life; with that comes risk. What if I don’t like what I learn about them? It’s funny how things have switched. When I was younger, I worried a lot about what other people thought of me, and now I’m more fearful about losing respect for others.
“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid than to open it and prove that you are.” This is paraphrased but I have spent a lot of my life reminding myself to heed this adage. I don’t know if it’s the stage of life I’m in, or our current political climate, but I feel like none of us can sit this one out. There is too much at stake. As a church, as white people of privilege, we have become very attached to our comfort. I think we can and are called to be part of God’s plan in the world. It’s definitely NOT comfortable and might even be painful but I’ve decided to accept the challenge!
This blog is run by the council members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Logan, UT. For more information, check out our church's website at princeopeace.org.