One of my favorite book titles is If Those Who Reach Could Touch by Gordon and Gail MacDonald. It’s about our need for relationships, and our inability to enjoy the type of relationships that we yearn for because of our brokenness and sin. I’ve often felt like that, especially in the middle of some conflict. It’s ironic that behind many conflicts is a desire for relationship, and yet the conflict gets in the way of the desire ever getting met. I get pretty frustrated as I read sites like Emergent No. I have never met Carla personally, although I’d like to one day. She strikes me as a thoughtful person with whom I disagree on many issues, but someone I could see also being a friend. I think we’d agree on a lot of things as well. She really seems to be a person of goodwill. I also see others who go to that site with different perspectives, and many of them seem to be decent people as well. Occasionally we’ll stumble into a good discussion, but most of the time we seem to talk past each other and get nasty. We’re trying to reach but we never quite seem to touch. I don’t mind disagreeing on the issues. It just seems so hard to get to the issues and to have any type of constructive dialogue. I’m not naive enough to think we’ll do better – this same dynamic is repeated in almost every church it seems – but do we really have to settle for things this way? Why did Jesus have to say we’d be known by our love?