Friday, November 14, 2014

Things Aren’t As They Seem

The other day, I saw another great video on Facebook.  It opens with a blonde man wearing a long dress coat and carrying a business bag walking down a city street.  Once he’s out of sight, we see a Muslim man dressed in his traditional clothing walking the same street carrying a large black bag.  A white mother walking with her young daughter is walking in the opposite direction on the other side of the street.  Seeing the Muslim, she stopped to watch him and you could see the concern on her face as she wondered what he could possibly be up to.  As she watched, a car screeched to a halt at the end of the block and several law enforcement officials came bursting forth running towards the Muslim.  Except they didn’t stop at the Muslim.  They continued past him running toward the white business man carrying the work case.  We then see them nab the white man, search him, pull out large amounts of drugs, cuff him, and take him away.  The woman and girl turn their attention back to the Muslim and see him happily greeting his wife, young daughter, and son.  From the bag, he pulls out a pink fold-up bike for his daughter.  They all hug and he puts his son on his shoulders as they continue on.  The white mother and daughter smile at each other and then go on their way.

Another great video tells of a tough motorcycle gang.  The members are dressed in their traditional clothes of black leather and their bodies are covered in tattoos.  Seeing them ride on their motorcycles, you would wonder what they were up to.  Except this gang meets every day to make hundreds of sandwiches for children’s lunches throughout the school systems because they don’t want to see any child go hungry.

Another video shows an experiment where an adult man was walking down the city street asking people he sees with food if they would share some of it with him because he is very hungry.  No one would share even a morsel.  A friend of his gives a whole pizza to a homeless man, leaves the scene, and the homeless man starts to eat it.  The previous man then stops to ask the homeless man if he would share some of his pizza saying he’s really hungry.  The homeless man was more than happy to share his pizza with him. 

There are so many people we judge wrongly in society.  Why do we judge?  One reason is because it can make us feel better to put others down or to gossip about them.  It makes us feel that we’re better than they are or that we’re right and they’re wrong.  We do it with religions, cultures, races, politics, and so much more. 

I used to be one who judged, but once I learned it doesn’t serve me or anyone else to do so, I now do my best not to judge anyone.  Of course, my biggest struggle is to not judge the judgers.  We need to stop the broad sweeping of judging all one group as bad.  There’s good and bad in all.  Personally, I look at each individual’s heart.  Does that mean we don’t hold people accountable for their actions when they hurt others?  Not at all! 

It’s interesting that if a white person does something to a white person, the harmed white person doesn’t hold it against the whole white race.  (You can replace the word ‘white’ with black, red, brown, Christian, Muslim, Jew, American, Mexican, British, or whomever.)  So why hold things against a whole group of people when we don’t hold it against the very group we consider ourselves to be in?

The Christian Bible states "Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.”  In fact, most all religions teach us not to judge.  And yet we still do it.  Will we ever learn?  We’re getting there.  Now that so many are learning that unconditional love really is the answer, more and more people are looking past outward appearances and seeing into the heart of the other person.  In the book “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers,” Billy said, “If we could see each other’s souls, Earth would become one big love-in.”  In the movie “Avatar,” the Na’Vi people would say “I see you” to each other meaning they recognized the soul or Spark of the Divine within the other. 

When we listen to the language of our soul, love prevails.  All souls are sacred and we should learn to greet that place where we are all One.  Doing so is how we honor the Source of All That Is.

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper November 14, 2014.

1 comment:

Joy Scudder said...

Excellent article, Rev. Karen. When we can look past that which is temporary, we gaze at the eternal. Thank you for sharing your love and wisdom.