“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
— Matthew 10:16

Officer Clayton grew up on the South Side of Chicago and was inspired to become a police officer to serve his community. He has arrested hardened criminals in life-threatening situations. He can be tough skinned and all business in situations where he needs to be. He also comes by Roseland Christian Ministries to bring bicycles for children, tickets to the circus, and school supplies for kids when the school year starts. He is both tough and tender. He is strong-willed and sensitive to the needs of others.
I am inspired by people who are a synthesis of gifts that we don’t normally attribute together. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a sermon on this topic, titled, “Tough Minds and Tender Hearts.” This sermon is a gift to anyone who may feel like a square peg in a round hole at times.
Following Jesus requires that we not give into societal expectations if they diminish the fullness of who God made us to be. We have in us, as children of God, the capacity to be both as shrewd as a serpent and as innocent as a dove, tough and tender, creative and organized, thoughtful and action oriented.
In what ways are you a synthesis of attributes that may seem like contradictions but come together to form you?

Lord, bring together all the traits that make us who we are, even those that can seem contradictory. Make us whole by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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