Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Worlds Collide

We are so quick to judge...so painfully quick to flip the switch and watch another soul twitch and writhe under the electric righteousness of our reasoned assessment. Only it is not Reason at all that makes us think we know the deep truth of another person's heart. It is rather, I think, a kind of bravado, born of fear, which itself springs from our own penchant for self-rejection. We do not give love to others because we have not yet learned how to receive God's love for us, and call it true.

Yet "to the pure, all things are pure" (Titus 1:15). I love Merton's comment on this: "I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun!" And Lewis, too, when he writes: "There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal."

We are, each one of us, a universe of wonder, deeply flawed to be sure, unfinished certainly...but still a master work of art of God's own making. We are with Him, partnered, co-creating who we are and will be. As such, we are tourists to one another. I do not know what lies in your deep heart any more than I know what it is to be Nepalese or see the world through the eyes of a Masai tribesman in South Africa.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)

May God help us all be better tourists with one another, especially when our worlds collide.

4 comments:

Sara said...

Apparently I'm supposed to think on this today. Your post was in my reader and this quote was the top update from a friend on Facebook: "We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically... liberates others.” [Marianne Williamson] As a sidenote it seems from your posts today and Sunday you are experimenting with a new writing style here? I like it. The variety keeps your blog fresh and poignant.

Michelle Brown said...

I love what I see showing up in your most recent blogs. Today's really feels like waking up and stepping into a place of openness and vulnerability. There's strength and warmth, too.

It's powerfully human. :-)

Michael D. Warden said...

Thanks Sara & Michelle. :)

James Hammonds said...

Eloquent and powerful. Definitely something that I've been feeling in my heart lately--the tendency to pass judgment on those around us needs to be replaced with the tendency to pass His love on to others.