“What did that do to your soul?” I asked.
Across lunch sat a brilliant attorney who had spent the past few years writing laws for the legislature of a distant state. Oddly, he wrote for both political parties, working hard to stay completely neutral. He might write a pro-gun law in the morning for one party, and then help pen a gun restriction law for the other party next. Many tough issues were included, I picked up. Like Medicine. Unions. Crime. Schools.
Talk about flexible. He shared that he had to shut down all of his own opinions and beliefs, and never ask questions about right or wrong, good or bad, black or white. He had to focus on what worked for each person, each party. No judgement allowed. His role as counsel required that he see every issue as equally gray, and that he never judge anything or anyone.
“That sounds difficult,” I asked. “What did that do to your soul?”
He paused. “I spiritually shut down. I lost my joy. My faith. My soul. I became empty. I had to leave to save my life.”
Wow. “…I spiritually shut down.” Makes me think. I learned from my Celtic heritage to be open minded yet discerning (for more on this, see “Drinking a Beer with Jesus.”) I believe in seeking the best in people. Finding silver linings. Cutting slack and offering second chances. I believe that everyone deserves to be listened to, and has something good to teach me. But that is far from believing there are no real rights or wrongs in life. No good or bad. Too many voices push us to reject absolute morality, seeking only what works for each person. They proffer this as the ideal–a post-modern world with no judgement. The Celtic Christians saw that while everyone had value to God, some people chose to do wrong things (I talk more about this in, “Youth Violence”.) In the real world, they understood that the barbarian hordes which carried off their families made evil, black-hearted choices.
A world where everyone’s behavior is just fine is a foolish dream. Light and darkness do exist. In real life, I think living in an all gray world is impossible. And pretending otherwise costs us too, too much.