I was on high alert as I entered our seaside chapel for a prayer meeting. A heated argument could be heard. Because of past trauma, angry voices make me highly anxious.
‘Sarah’, and ‘Elizabeth’ were having still another of their many disagreements.
This time it was due to the fact that Sarah had brought a beautiful arrangement of lupins in a vase to place in front of the altar. These gorgeous large wildflowers bloom in abundance in Newfoundland in the summer.
Alas, Elizabeth had already placed an artificial arrangement of pink and white blooms in that spot.
This irked Sarah, who felt the need to remind Elizabeth too loudly that artificial flowers were not allowed in Catholic churches.
Elizabeth felt that the fake flowers were fine. She said that they were more practical, and would look cheerful for years. She said that she felt sad when real flowers started to wilt, and she felt that they were messy.
Sarah confidently defended her position. Real flowers take a prominent place in the Church since live flowers represent the sacrifice of life. Symbolically, flowers represent Christ’s sacrifice for humanity.
Finally, ‘Joan’ , our group’s peacemaker, suggested that Elizabeth place her artificial arrangement at the back of the church. Four years later, it is still there, looking as cheerful as ever.
When Christians bicker and argue, it is, what RJ Dawson calls, ‘a bad witness’.
When Christians are very vocal about who is right, and who is wrong, our ego-filled petty ‘battles’ are unlikely to draw others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
It is inevitable that we are going to disagree in some areas, but may our differences of opinion always be worked out in a spirit of love, and mutual respect.
Photo of Newfoundland lupins on Pexels