As we bring closure to our synchroblog initiative, my tired brain is ruminating on many different impressions and reflections. Overall, let me say how humbled and grateful I am for the many who shared with heart-felt commitment to find ways to see beyond the gaps and engage one another as fellow journeyers.
A number of people have referred to previous attempts at bridging – both personally and publicly. Those who have been intentionally involved in these attempts over the long haul can feel a sense of weariness or what one might describe as being jaded about a new attempt.
The BTG synchroblog was not a new or radically different attempt – though for some of our contributors and readers it was their first exposure to this kind of conversation. And to be honest, it was primarily with these ‘newbies’ in mind that we wanted to bring this conversation into the public realm of blogging. For those who have been around the block more times than they care to count on this topic, we hoped you would bring your experience, wisdom and maturity. And many of you did. While there may not have been any big “ah-ha” moments for seasoned travelers in these conversations in yesterday’s posts, I do hope that there were spots of encouragement as many shared with honesty and grace.
In particular, I think of Anita’s and Karen’s posts as ones which reflected the grace of seasoned travelers who, out of love for Christ, willingly put themselves out there yet again with words of gracious challenge to see one another across the gaps.
Then there are those for whom this conversation is not a daily reality, perhaps I might describe them as occasional travelers into these bridging attempts. I heard in these contributions a common theme of having experienced the need to unpack and deconstruct assumptions – and I found that encouraging. What I particularly loved about these contributions is that they focused on stories of personal encounters and personal relationships. That really is the heart of it all. And while these friends may not know every subtle nuance of this complex bridging exercise as some who live and breathe this stuff all the time, I thought that the stories of contributors like Mark, Chris and Darryl, to name a few, were bright spots of encouragement for those of us in the trenches on this stuff all the time. In their stories, they embodied what bridging is essentially about ….. meeting another person, connecting and sharing in each other’s lives.
Some concrete suggestions / insights caught my attention:
Justin Lee referred to two new DVD resources, our Bridging the Gap series and GCN’s Through My Eyes. (I had intended to do a post reviewing Through My Eyes – but didn’t get a chance – but think it is a really great resource.) He also shared about a new connection point for straight Christians who want to share ideas on loving and bridging ~ and you can contact New Direction or Justin (at) gaychristian (dot) net with the subject line “I’d like to help bridge”.
Moody blogger reminded us that the Lord’s Supper can be a beautiful expression of gaps being bridged – and whether you agree with his perspective on the sacrament or not – it was offered in a wonderful spirit.
Empire Remixed suggested that everyone in the church give up talking about and having sex for a year and focus on serving together. While unlikely to be implemented, a thought-provoking, creative suggestion I thought.
Okay City focused on a tangible orientation to service together despite the reality of some gaps. “You bring the lunch, I’ll bring the water.”
I also appreciated the diversity reflected in the collection of conversations: some international presence, non-Christian reflections, as well as the spectrum of theological perspectives and sexual identity. I do regret that we did not directly hear from or engage the perspective of our trans neighbours.
As I hear from people who have been reading the posts, I am mainly hearing what I consider positive feedback: people felt most of the posts were thoughtful, respectful, gracious and hopeful; and people were both resonating and being stretched and exercising grace and patience too.
The synchroblog is officially closed now – if you have a post you would yet want to offer – please simply leave a comment on this or the previous post. Prior to doing that, please read through this post for a bit more background on the intention behind the synchroblog.
Some of you may know that I will be entering a season of sabbatical essentially in a couple of days (I have to preach yet on Sunday). I am really grateful for this time to leave the trenches for a while, experience rest, enjoy my family, and read, reflect and work on my book project. I don’t anticipate writing new posts until the fall – but be on the lookout for new weekly video clips and posts written by Brian.
Let me close by saying thank you to contributors and readers who have encouraged me, stretched me, and sharpened me in the last year of blogging. May God continue to give all of us courage, wisdom, humility and grace to truly love one another across the gaps.
Shalom friends – see you in the fall.