I’ve been doing a little theological reading lately which can be a dangerous thing.  I’ve read some reflections from the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton in which he writes about the various contradictions in his own spiritual life.  Merton was a strong advocate for social justice totally rooted in an all-consuming Christian faith.

You don’t have to read too much of the Bible to uncover apparent contradictions.  Here’s a familiar one:

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Mark 10:34

You don’t have to spend much time with Habitat to confront things that seem contradictory.  Habitat utilizes unskilled volunteer labor to build homes and we expect professional level quality.  We sell homes to families that trusted financial institutions find too risky and we expect on-time, regular payments.  We have built our business model around a biblical idea of not charging interest and we’ve grown to be the 6th largest homebuilder in the U.S. in so doing.  We seek out communities that other builders and developers shun as hopeless or too dangerous and we expect those communities to become places of hope and growth.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a contradiction as, “a statement containing elements logically at variance with one another.”  A paradox is defined as, “a statement which seems self-contradictory but on investigation may prove to be essentially true.”

Paradox is everywhere at Habitat.   Come join us and see the beauty that lies on other side of paradox—families getting the opportunity to provide safe and decent places in which to raise their families despite the considerable odds against them.