I am always surprised when I run into someone I know, especially when it is away from the office. It is as if I do not naturally recognize them because they are in a “different” space and time. I really enjoy the encounters – it always seems like a bolt of sunshine spilling into an otherwise cloudy day! If they make a mistake, no worries – they are on my turf. It is as if I recognize their intent and in turn share my gift of empathy, mercy, and acceptance without reservation.
I find I share the same kind of consideration with hearts I recognize. I sense fellow travelers with similar values and priorities. I intuitively find myself reaching out – sharing what I have, helping where possible, and staying out of the way if there is nothing I can do. It is a wonderful process, warming the heart and soul. The discovery of a friend, if only for awhile – nothing demanded, only untethered gifts exchanged.
Perhaps on any day, in any moment I meet someone, I could recognize what God already sees. The potential of what could happen fills me with wonder and awe. Individuals freely and willing reaching out to others with an acceptance for who they are at the moment, support like a brother or sister for what is important in their lives, and the courtesy which only comes from a true respect for their integrity. Diversity is celebrated. Talents are recognized and rewarded. Families are extended through communities.
I know there will be a time when “the Master [God] for the second time will reach out to bring back what's left of his scattered people. He'll bring them back from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia, Elam, Sinar, Hamath, and the ocean islands.” (Isaiah 11.11) I also know you and I can begin the process now, with each person we meet. We can give birth to new communities of support and hope. We can present a model of new possibilities. We can realize a new creation. We can recognize, in ourselves and others, what God already knows.
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