His gift for being able to see both sides of our human predicament is what I admire most about Will Campbell. He mirrors the life of Jesus, who not only loved and understood his own and those who were being oppressed, but also his enemies and the oppressors. And Jesus, we believe, is the human face of God.
My own experience over the years in ministry and counseling has borne out the truth of what Campbell wrote in his autobiography “Brother to a Dragonfly” – that “the one who understands the nature of tragedy can never take sides.” I’ve also learned that it’s much easier to talk about than it is to practice – even with God’s help.
In this young millennium, when tragedies too often divide us, we would do well to heed the call of Jesus and his “bootleg preacher” to respect and better understand each other and our own inwardly divided selves.
Lord, in the words of Francis of Assisi, grant that we might not so much seek to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. Amen.
John Paul Carter’s “Notes From the Journey” is a regular feature of the Weatherford Democrat.