lightning bolt

A few weeks ago, Rev. Dr. Vincent Harris, the District Superintendent for our larger community, gave the sermon at Central. He talked about how, with each new day, we are new, renewed in the eyes of God. This is a powerful message to those that are worn down by limited choices and limited opportunities. That they can see themselves as fully loved and valued by our creator in the present moment, regardless of the past, is healing and empowering.

 For me, a person of many privileges, that thought is encouraging yet isn’t the same powerful message. For my whole life I’ve had the resources (mostly unearned) to re-invent how I see myself, to start over when a direction didn’t serve me or my family.
 
But during the communion that followed, it came to me in a lightning bolt moment that maybe the important message for me isn’t so much about me and how I see myself, but how I see others. What would it be like if I saw others as God does, as brand new, renewed? Could I do it? Could I see my challenging relatives at Thanksgiving, or the man at the park with all his demons on display, as brand new, loved and valued by our creator? As if each day every person is reborn in love and patience and possibility? Would that change how I respond?

I’ll tell you that this has been hard. Mainly, I keep forgetting, because I am conditioned and trained to see people in a social context, not a spiritual one. I will keep trying. One time I was close, so I’m encouraged! What I am sure of is that this is the type of love among each other that we are meant to cultivate in our communities, and that Central is uniquely the type of place that it can happen, that we can practice seeing each other as beautiful and new each day.