“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Glen and I were prayer-walking around SUNY Potsdam on Presidents’ Day when this quote came to mind. We were praying for the nation. Specifically, we were praying that people would stop being so polarized over politics and start joining forces for good.
People so desperately want there to be a line between good and evil, as Solzhenitsyn said. An easy litmus test. If you are on my side of the line, you are good. If you are on the other, you are not. A neat, clean, decisive cut.
What I saw in my mind’s eye as we prayed was not a line or a cut, but a rope. A rope that stretched out like the white line in the middle of the campus road we were walking. No matter which side you walk, if you see the rope as a line of separation, you will find that it ends in a noose.
But if you can, in humility, recognise that the rope runs through every human heart - yours as well as the person on the other side of the issue, debate, or opinion - it becomes a line of connection. A life-line. If we pull together, we can be an instrument for healing. We can be the rope that draws up the bucket from the well of living water to give those who thirst a drink.