Yesterday a series of small, almost inconsequential, facts finally sunk into my consciousness. In and of themselves, the facts do not really mean very much. However, when I take my understanding from them and look at the world, everything is different! I see a new picture. I hear what people are saying in a fresh light.
I do not understand. It is baffling as to why we continue to hurt each other as we do. Beyond the physical wars and economic bombs, the gratuitous pain we enjoy watching on film and inflict those most important to us is confusing and numbing. When I look at the number of people starving because of another's greed, I am dumbfounded. As I reflect on the silence that accompanies our recognition of this evil, I am frustrated and angry. It seems that “evil people are restless unless they're making trouble; They can't get a good night's sleep unless they've made life miserable for somebody.” (Proverbs 4.16)
And…what are you and I going to do about it?
Before springing into action, let me suggest a couple of important reflection points.
First, the people we find most repulsive are often an echo of ourselves. Do you get angry when you think of hunger in the Sudan? Have you reflected on the way that you withhold the gift of love, mercy, and acceptance when you are angry with a loved one? Does racism and bigotry get your defenses going? Did you ever think about the way you manipulate those close to you to get what you think you need? These are not black and white questions; it is all shares of gray (i.e. black).
Second, given that we are all the same, we also stand before God equally. This is awesome! God offers each the unconditional gift of love, mercy, acceptance, and restoration. God's approach comes from who He is, not on what we have, are, or will do.
When I look at others, I do not see competitors or enemies. I see God's children, struggling to understand life just like me.