After weeks, we were suppose to receive criticism from our group members. Where we sat in a circle and people told you what they thought of you as a person based on a quarter semester of discussions. Sounds more offensive than it actually once in general. Ironically, I was offended. I was told in these discussion groups that I was a pacifist; that I was afraid of conflict. At that time, I found this deeply offensive. I had spent 3 years of undergraduate study in deep battles of theological value (or so I thought.) Many late nights in the sunken lobby of Allan Spivy turning red trying to prove the importance of general revelation or the relevance of divinity of Jesus to suddenly be told that I avoid conflict was appalling.
There are so many things that occurred in my life during my two years in graduate school. Some events were of great magnitude, and thus there are many moments that I do not remember. But I remember that one. For years, I have wondered why that was their observation. Perhaps the group mistook my occasional silence as an apprehension to debate. On the other hand, perhaps their debate was so angry that when I spoke I only spoke of possibilities of reconciliation; the middle ground so to speak. I should have asked at the time but I didn't.It was just recently that that conversation flashed before me and I was finally at peace with being considered peaceful. Thank God that I don’t naturally find anger in all things. Thank God that bringing people together is more important to me that dividing them. Thank God that I can be passionate about what I believe but somehow have the foresight to acknowledge others beliefs. Thank God. Every now and again, your greatest strength is even a surprise to you.