By the taste of my morning hot drink I could be anywhere. The fact that I am sipping it in a restaurant which is part of a global franchise helps. The analysis simplifies itself as I always order the same drink – size, type, and special preparation instructions. The sounds around me are familiar, almost as if we are part of the same strangely happy family.
Life is far more personal than we like to admit. I find myself caught in the paradox of thinking my clothes, persona, and style of walking through life differentiates me from the masses. I have no doubt that these facts and actions add color and texture to my life, but do they really change anything? Am I so sufficiently different from the norm that I deserve my own label? Are you?
As I watch life swirl around me – kids rushing to school, mothers frantically trying to deal with some crisis or another, and even the stressed etched on the faces – I find more things in common than different. It is natural to create differences. It can be desirable to emphasize what we think makes us special. It is even ok to see and understand the nuances that give us personality. Yet what is personal is also community. What we value we also share. Things that exclude us also bind us.
As another fall days begins I see the community around me as part of a bigger family. I may not know every member but I can carry compassion for them. I often find myself confused and bewildered, I can strive to accept and understand. I can work through my anger and frustration, knowing we are in this together no matter what action you appear to take against me.
The words and advise of those who came before me is relevant. When I listen to “the Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem,” (Isaiah 2.1) it is important to realize Divinity is talking to all of us in a consistent, passionate, and engaged voice. It isn’t someone else, it is personal.
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