Crisis, by Caitlyn Spence (Vancouver)

(Crisis is my third favourite Alexisonfire album, but this has nothing to do with that).

Crisis is simultaneously one of my favourite words, and one of my least favourite.
Complex, I know. Bear with me.

What’s that? You want the dictionary definition of the word crisis, like this is a high school English paper? Done!

Crisis; noun

1. a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
2. a condition of instability or danger, as in social,
economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
3. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.

Sounds stressful right? I agree.

When I think about the times I have been in crisis in my life, I don’t remember them with much fondness. I hate change, actually. I hate having things torn out from under me. I’ve never been in an earthquake, but I am going to go ahead and assume that I would hate it.

But crisis is a necessary, and sometimes beautiful, time in life. A “stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events is determined” and, more often than not, I need a stage like that in my personal sequence of events to determine where I am going, or to change my mind on things. Honestly, I am very rarely headed in the right direction, and crisis helps me find the right path.

When we meet Christ it’s a crisis – a spiritual earthquake. Everything changes. Even if it feels like we are still the same, as I did for a long time, our paths change. You are counted with the living, and your inheritance is wonder. You were once dead, but now you’re alive; once belonging to no one, but now the beloved of a great God.

In our prayer community in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver, we see a lot of crisis. The anthem of our streets is often in the key of ambulance sirens. Though we are there with our neighbours, helping them through their crisises, which are usually beyond our comprehension (a lot of my conversations this week have been with people who fought in Rwanda and victims of rape, for instance) I have come to learn that a crisis is, more often than not, being confronted with the choice of life or death, positive outcomes or negative, better or worse.

Crisis is when we get to help others choose life, and often have to make the choice ourselves.

And Christ the crisis that triggers the event of becoming like Him.


(ps. when counting Alexisonfire albums, I counted the Moneen crossover album, just so you know.)

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