Tress and I met with TT and Maudrene last night and enjoyed a meal together. We mentioned to them the owner goes to a church they used to work in and it turned out they did know the owner reasonably well.
We always liked Tang’s on Middleborough Road, on the same row of shops where Simon’s Peking duck is. It’s a quiet and homely place with good home cooking type of food. TT and Maudrene’s acquaintance with the owner (Min) earned us dessert on the house last night so it was a great way to end the meal.
TT is a wise old man. He is old however, only in a full head of white hair. In all other respects he remains youthful. His fervour and commitment belies his seniority and health. So perhaps he is a youthful wise man. What many will readily agree is his wisdom, I guess.
So when he counsels leaders of my local church to cease fighting amongst each other it is counsel best heeded. I just wonder however, if there really is infighting. Maybe there has been. Maybe there has been no peace, in the shalom sense. Absence of conflict does not equate to peace, if peace is to mean shalom. I have chosen to walk away from a group which I had thought weren’t interested in engaging and deliberating matters on an ongoing basis for the best outcome for the church. If that is not the desired way to run this church, so it is best I be the one to exit. That is all. If my acknowledgment and affirmation is deemed insincere and selectively wielded, there can only be an absence of conflict – that is the only form of peace possible. Not Shalom.