Rigidity or Gray Areas
I read a story about a child who was called ‘the attorney general’ by her extended family. After being told that she could only ride her bike in the driveway, she posed several questions. “If I go over the crack between the driveway and the road, does that count? And if my shadow crosses the line, does that count?” *
The child’s idea was that she needed to rigidly comply with the rule. But her parents idea was to make sure she would be safe.
For a long time I approached God’s commandments like that little ‘attorney general’. As a result I missed seeing God’s love for me/us as the underpinning of all God’s laws.
When we see God’s love as the root of the law, then it gets easier to understand that rigidity is not always the goal. As Pope Francis says: “There has to be room for some ‘gray areas'.” And, of course, that describes Jesus’ approach to the laws He observed…but sometimes didn’t…like healing or feeding people on the Sabbath Day.
Name laws that demand rigid compliance. I can only think of two. Can you guess which two I’m thinking of? When did you understand the idea of gray areas in making choices? Think of a recent choice you made that fell into a ‘gray area’.
*Sr. Mary McGlone for Celebration: Preaching Resources, 02/12/17