We build walls around our hearts, around our homes, around our land, around our borders to keep out strangers, the different, the other; to protect ourselves from getting hurt or from having to share our space with others. We guard our hearts, our land, and our country with great vigilance until the very guarding obsesses us and we become so outwardly focused and defensive that we lose touch with ourselves and our humanity. In our efforts to protect and defend we become disconnected and fragmented. – Edwina Gateley, A Mystical Heart

It is impossible to build community if people are not willing to stay in conversation or “at the table” during times of significant disagreement. Our inclination may be to shut down or shut out those who challenge us at tender or important places, but we cannot find resolution without staying with the relationship, at least for the time it takes to understand the differences fully. – Christine Pohl, Living into Community

…open arms are a sign that I have created space in myself for the other to come in and that I have made a movement out of myself so as to enter the space created by the other…  – Miroslav Volf. Exclusion and Embrace

‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous…. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5.43–45, 48

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