Friday, August 19, 2016

He sees. I See.

When God created colors, He never asked of pink to deny the fact that it is pink or red to stop being red. The uniqueness of each individual color blends together to give us the beautiful rainbow we enjoy.

The same request was never made of the stars. No demand was placed on them to surrender their individuality or stature and when placed together, we get to view brilliant constellations.

So why then, do we ask of humans to deny their race? If God only wanted people to look one plain way, He would have never dispersed Noah's three sons into different regions of the world where they would establish distinct cultures and practices and the environment and surrounding conditions would affect the color of their skin and the shape of their noses. If He wanted us to all sound the same, He would not have stopped the building of the Tower of Babel. 

I have Hispanic friends, Indian friends, Chinese friends, Caucasian friends, African friends, Black friends, Polynesian friends, etc. I don't want to see through people. I want to really see them for who they are. Race is as much a part of who we are - our history, our culture, our experience - as our soul and spirit. 

In my opinion, to see all of who a person is and celebrate the totality of that person is to see through God's eyes. People say God can't or doesn't look on flesh and yet Jesus is fully man. So does God veil His eyes when He looks at His Son who is seated at His right hand? 

God sees all of you and He celebrates your uniqueness and individuality. Just as the individual colors blend together to make a rainbow and the stars join together to make constellations, all of who I am connects with all of who you are and together we make up the human race. 

It isn't denial of my skin tone that brings about this effect. It's the celebration of our diversity that does. 

"How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity! For there the Lord commanded the blessing - life forever." Ps. 133:1,3

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Heart over Head

Judgment statements are thinking statements. They are statements of opinion birthed from what we think someone should do or say or how we think someone should act or interpret data and facts. 

Judgments and "shoulds" are largely formed from injured expectations, meaning we project onto others how we would react or respond in a certain situation and consciously (more often,  unconsciously) and demand that behavior from others. 

This is why we instinctively pursue agreement over connection. It's the place of homogeneous thinking, feeling and behaving. Agreement creates a cocoon of false safety. 

Unconditional acceptance says I'm not them,  they aren't me. It frees others from my expectation that they would handle life the way I would. People often refrain from sharing because they fear being judged. Perfect love displaces fear. 

Feeling statements are the language of the heart. While no one is responsible for how I feel, when I hand you my feelings in conversation,  I'm handing you a sacred part of my internal world. It's the place of how the things I'm processing are affecting me. Connection happens when you hear my heart, when you hold my heart with deep regard and I respond in like manner to you. 

Feelings don't require fixing. We share how we feel to create opportunities of being known. The most valuable gift a person can give to someone who says "I feel..." is compassionate listening.

Squeeze their hand. Hug their neck. Share their pain with your own tears. Look them in the eye, silently...and listen.

I see you. I hear you. I'm with you.