Jesus spent a lot of time coming down from mountaintops: after he’s tempted, after the sermon on the mount, after the transfiguration. The valley is where he lived and acted and healed people.
It’s easy to stay on top of the mountain. The view is great, you see life in this general, zoomed-out abstraction. It’s like using the miniature setting on your digital camera; the world, and the people in it, become cute, easily-maneuvered toys. You’re in control.
But relationships are dangerous from this vantage point. The world is more complex and people are messier than they appear from there. Especially as we attempt to understand and engage with people of different races, religions, backgrounds, or sexual orientations, we must venture into the terrain of the valley.
There’s a reason that Jesus didn’t stay on top of those mountains. He knew – and we must learn – that transformational relationships and real life are only possible down in the valley.
Let’s stop assuming we know anything from the mountaintop. Let’s stop talking in abstract generalities about breaking racial divides or understanding poverty. Let’s stop sitting on the mountain and let’s do the hard (and scary) work of coming down into the valley.