Awakening a Keen Observer

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hands UP2

Here it is Sunday early morning right now. I woke thinking of the day ahead. Our daughter leaves Oklahoma for Pennsylvania today with her Dad. He is driving the rental truck with her. They have some packing still to do but that will all work out.

Two weeks ago I was in India getting ready to preach at the church where the teenage children worship. They are the children in one of the Homes. Their parents have leprosy but they are fine. The son of the manager nicknamed "Honey" translated for me. He and I worked well together and the kids were alert and attentive. We laughed together a couple of times as he translated. If I got to a word they don't have in Hindi I would change it till we found one that worked.

After church and lunch and a rest we drove into the nearby town. For the vast majority of the people in that area Sunday was not their holy day they are Hindu or Muslim. We drive through a busy Muslim area. It is a particularly holy area for them and part of the pilgrimage faithful Muslims make during their lives. There were all kinds of vehicles. However, when I looked into the faces of the women as we drove past them, we in car they often in pony cart, I saw the faces of women I've met everywhere. I've met them where I lived in Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma the faces are the same. The essence of the people is the same. There are different outsides but the same inside- you can just tell.

We are all the same under the skin and we share the same deep heart's desires for our selves and our families. The children were particularly curious about us as westerners with white skin and different hair. My grey hair stands out there as to have it mixed color isn't common. There are to be sure white haired people but few with a mixture as mine is now.
There are to be sure different lenses through which we see the world and one another. Those lenses each of us has come from religion and culture and place. The actions of others outside of the everyday folks often color or cloud those lenses and as individuals we are all impacted. These particular people look to find religious meaning in very different places, manner, and ritual, holding different views of God and God's nature.

And a warning for you- your lenses can change and new perspectives can come to you and new opportunities to understand.

As believers in Jesus our lens should be love. Jesus challenged us- challenges us- to see the world, friend or foe, through this lens of love he brought us. Even if the greater world clouds those lenses we see through that cloud with God's love. Jesus taught us of God's love in his life and action and by his eating with sinners and healing those others wouldn't touch. He was not afraid of the other or the unclean.

So no matter where we live our feet touch the same earth, our hands hold up the same sky, and we are sisters and brothers here at this same time in the history of the world.
Raise up your hands and stomp your feet and say to yourself --welcome home-- and be about the hospitality of welcoming all.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey


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