In a world of what seems like increasing hostility and pain and worry, I read a quote the other day that I have been thinking of ever since. So I figured I would share:
The “image of God” is absolute and unchanging; it is pure and total gift, given equally to all.
There is nothing we humans can do to increase or decrease it. It is not ours to decide who has it or does not have it, which has been most of our problem up to now—deciding who is in and who is out, who is up and who is down, who is “going to heaven” and who is not. Only the tiny mind would want such a strange and horrible “comfort.” The great mind hands such questions back where they belong, to the only mind where everything belongs, which is of course the Mind of Christ.
–Father Richard Rohr
There are so many coming from various conflicting points of view these days, even in my own private circles. The world is confusing.
But what a beautiful thing to be reminded that each one of us is a daughter of son of God.
Each of us is “the image of God.”
That stranger you walked past on the street today is.
That person who is lashing out in pain at some political agenda or health concern or misunderstanding is, just as much as that person offering a beautiful service to a neighbor who is struggling. We are all in this together, just trying to figure everything out with our own unique capacities and our own unique backgrounds.
We all just want to be heard.
And it isn’t up to us to decide if others are right or wrong. That is left up to He know knows us better than we know ourselves.
It is up to us to listen.
To seek to understand where others are coming from.
To look for common ground.
To love unconditionally.
Because everyone has their own story.
And when we listen and let go of our own agenda, we can hear.
As we learn to love even those who are vastly different from ourselves, we lift them and lift ourselves at the same time.
Oh, sometimes it isn’t easy. It is so natural to be angry and to feel misunderstood and to point fingers of blame in our pain and sorrow.
But oh how much better off we are when we stop long enough to think, “hmmm, I wonder where that thought is coming from?”
I know when people do that to me, I am immediately disarmed. I feel heard. I feel understood. And that is when learning and growing occurs.
I am a big believer in sharing stories. I’d love to invite you to share yours! I think some people are shy to share in the comment section, but oh how we can learn from each other! If you feel comfortable, share a time when you were listened to. Or when you stopped long enough to listen. I’d love to hear other perspectives!