Today, I am not speaking to you a pastor, or as a member of the clergy. I am speaking to you as a person, without a title, just myself as I am every day. I think at times we spend so much time adhering to title’s, positions in not only the work place, but in our families and places that we worship at. We pay more attention to these titles than we do considering that in the end result, we are, human. We are members of a larger association that any title, affiliation or group than we are associated with. We are members of the human race, it is in our humanity that we have the ability to see each other without the veil of words that we place before us.
We spend more time thinking about how we can improve on our titles, or positions and our affiliations that we lose sight of who we are. When you remove all the words we use to identify ourselves, we are left with only one position, being ourselves.
Is it that difficult for us to move away from the many ways we identify who we are. To spend time understanding what we are? In my life I have met a great number of people, some for the work I do, and some as the result of my ministry. In each meeting, I try to see the person who I am with as just a person, someone who may need me to listen as they talk about their lives. Someone who spends time with an older person who has few visitors, or someone that seeks affirmation that what they are doing is a good idea.
I have spent time with others listening to their dreams and hopes, listening to them talk about their children and grandchildren. I listen as they tell me that they would like to spend more time with their families, who are always busy with work and their own lives that they cannot take a moment to spend it with their parent or grandparent.
When I strip away the titles, I see each person as an individual without the constraints we place on how we identify ourselves. More so, I see each person as an opportunity to inter act with someone who may need me at that time on that day.
For us, the rigors of work and home, the office or school, the kid’s activities and sporting events, preparations for the holidays and birthdays, vacations and getaways. We spend more time on the events, more than we do the people who we spend them with.
My challenge to you, is to take time to see the person who you are with, not just the game you are taking them to. Spend time looking at the person who tends to your home and your children on equal ground (as their job can be just as labor intensive as your own) make time to see the eyes of the child speaking to you, looking for approval, asking for help or needing a reassuring voice or a strong shoulder to cry on. Take time to be with family, look on those who spent their life giving you what you needed, not as a Burdon because of their age, rather, as the person without whom you would not be here. Take time to talk and laugh, remember the good times and comfort each other in sad times. Most importantly, strip away the titles and see each other as a person rather than a set of words we use to identify ourselves with.
Take time to be with yourself, we all need to recharge the batteries now and again, take time to see the beauty we share in our humanity with one another. Take time to be yourself and encourage others to do the same, you may be surprised at what you will learn from each other, you may find that we are not all that different at all.
Take the time, it can change how you think about each other
Peace and love be with you
Most of the posts I do focus on the Christian perspective, how our path is guided by God and His Son Jesus. However, how do we see others who are not Christian? And as important, how should we look at the world as Christians?
Our world is made of a diverse cultures, religions, traditions and views that are used to see our world, through the eyes of many different peoples. When we take a look at the world, do we see this diversity, or do we simply see thing’s as Christian and non-Christian? As I stated in “what will you do in 2018” I made reference to the good Samaritan, (Luke 10:25-37) and the woman at the well (John 4), to illustrate that Christ looked at those who were not Jew’s, in the same way as he looked at those who were Jew’s like Him. He saw them of creations of God, brothers and sisters, rather than non-Jew’s.
One may say that he looked at the Pharisees and Sadducees through a more critical point of view, and this is true. This may have been in part, because, they cared more about wealth and power than serving God. However, we do not see where Jesus condemned them because of who they were, rather, He condemned their actions towards God’s people, in favor of their own personal gain.
So how, then, do we see the world?
Take time to think about how you act towards others, towards people of different cultures, religions and traditions. I am sure they may seem very different than you own, they may seem difficult to understand. When considering this, how do you think these people see you culture or religion and traditions. It is safe to say that we are just as different to them as they are to us.
The more important question here is. How do we treat those who are different than we are? Do we turn our backs? Do we distance ourselves from what we do not understand? Or Like Christ, we embrace our differences?
Consider that Jesus spent time with the poor and dying, the lepers and other out casts from which society turned their backs on. As Christians we are called to follow in the path that Christ paved for us. We are to embrace, as he did, others whom we may not understand and in doing so, we may come to a place of understanding. We may actually find that in fact we are not as different as we make ourselves to be.
Take time to consider how you are looking at the world, then consider how Jesus taught us to see the world.
What will you do in 2018?
With every new year, we are given a new start. We are given the opportunity to change the things we did not like in the previous year, and work at making our lives better in the new year.
So, what will you do in this new year?
As is customary, we make resolutions to change ourselves for the better. Work out more, take walks and so on. However, do we honestly keep these resolutions? If you are like me, we tend make our goals difficult to accomplish, if not overly ambitious. If this is the case, then why do we do this to ourselves?
Rather than set resolutions beyond our ability to accomplish, maybe we should consider making a change that we can use in our lives on a daily basis?
I am not suggesting that working out or loosing weight or become more proactive are not important. I am suggesting that we should spend time learning how to make a positive change in our walk-in life, by taking a closer look at the path Christ has left for us. Jesus’s ministry was one that encompassed love, understanding, tolerance and hope. He spent time teaching us to treat others in a way that we wished to be treated, (Luke 6:31). Jesus also taught us that we should not be judgmental, as how we judge others is the same way we will one day be judged. (Matthew 7:1-5). He told us to love one another, as he has and still loves us, (John 15:12). Jesus’s message was one of hope, was one that surpassed our perceived differences, such as the Samaritan, (Luke 10:25-37) or His meeting the woman at the well, (John 4) teaching her about the messiah and revealing himself to her that He was the one whom God sent. Christ teaches us to look beyond our difference, that we may treat one another with compassion and love.
So, what will you do in 2018?
Perhaps we can make sometime to change how we look at one another, and try to make a positive change in someone else’s life.
Do you know me?
It seems like a simple question, but do you actually know me? Do you know where I have been, or what I have done?
These are difficult questions, if you and I met for the first time, could you answer me? The obvious answer to this question is no you could not. If we cannot answer this question, then why are we so quick to think we know anything about anyone we have never met? This is another interesting question, by not knowing a person how can we adequately believe that we can assume anything? I honestly believe that we make a rush to judgement because we do not wish to take the time to understand each other.
As the old saying goes, “if you could walk a mile in my shoes.” what would you learn? Or if I could walk a mile in your shoes what would I learn about you?
Let’s take one moment, just a moment, to consider this. What would you find in my shoes? And what would I find in yours? And if we could walk in each other’s shoes would it change how we feel about one another? A better question would be, would you be willing to walk in my shoes?
At times we seem to be content to only view our needs, our desires and our wants, taking time to walk in someone else’s shoes would – I think - be distasteful to say the least. We are caught up in our world, that we pay no attention to the fact that this world belongs to other people too.
Back to my question, if you could walk in my shoes what would you learn? Would you find out that I am a mother, a sister an aunt and Grandmother? Would you learn about all of the disappointments in my life and all of the triumphs? Could you see the hurt I have seen, and share in the love that I have and do feel for others? Would you see the hope in my eye’s when my children attended school or acted in a school play? The hope that what they did would be accepted by others, rather than drawing jeers or boo’s even? Would you feel my heart break?
In my shoes would you find that I have lead a life that has been difficult most of the time, could you feel the tears that I shed, the fear that I have felt? Would you know just how cruel the world can be from my perspective? Or could you see the peace and joy that I have, in recent years, found?
If I wore your shoes, would I see the same things? Would I come to know that we are not that different?
We are all working toward the same thing in life, to find joy and happiness, to love and hope, working for a better future for ourselves and our families? Could our walking in each other’s shoes make us see that we are not that different at all? Maybe it would, and maybe it would not, I believe it would come down to our perspective, how do we see others, and would we be willing to walk in their shoes. Or if the idea of seeing things from another perspective is something that we are unwilling to do?
Take a moment and think about all the people on this planet, all working for the same things that you are, a better life, being proud of their children and families, having enough to eat and a place to sleep at night. Having the ability to support themselves so they can so all that they hope and dream for. Take a moment and think about how this applies to you, how closely do their hopes and wishes match yours?
Once again, I need to ask you, do you know me? Are you willing to see me through my shoes?
For the Christian, Jesus invites us to walk in his shoes to follow the path he paved for us. For those faithful to God, he invites us to walk in the steps of Abraham or Moses. Perhaps to those of other faiths, they are called to walk a path that lead them into enlightenment and peace or to walk in the steps of Muhammad, as he leads them to greater understanding of Allah.
Looking at this, are we all really that different?
Tell me, would you be willing to walk a mile in someone’s shoes, so you could know them better?
Pastor Lisa Chachula