Do you have young children? If so, they probably decorate your refrigerator with their artwork. I used to love displaying my children’s latest creation for all to see. Today, if I have artwork on my refrigerator, it is from my niece and nephews in Colorado. They’re six and under and so much fun.
Last week I received a package from them containing my Girl Scout Cookie order and a drawing from each of them. First I opened the drawing from Haley Ray. It was a picture of sunflowers. The top of the card showed sunflowers at night with the moon shining down on them. The bottom of the card was the sunflowers growing in the sunshine. She loves art and is my favorite six year old artist.
Kolby, my four year old nephew, drew one picture that took up the entire card. I stared at it a long time trying to determine what it was. There was obviously some grass or green flowers involved, however, I wasn’t quite sure about the rest.
One of my favorite first grade teachers had a student bring a picture to her. She asked him to tell her about his picture. You never say, What is it? You don’t want to offend a budding artist by admitting you have no clue of what the picture could be. He said something that sounded like:
Fa teeh oh man.”
After asking him several times to repeat it, she replied,
False teethed old man?”
After some assistance from another student, she learned the drawing was none other than Frosty the Snowman. Go figure!
Well, I called my sister-in-law for backup where Kolby’s picture was concerned. I always call them and thank them for my artwork, so I needed assistance. She looked at the picture I texted her and said she’d have to get back to me. A few moments later I received this text,
Clearly, it’s Kolby and Daddy playing soccer in the grass.”
Well, of course it is, now that I know. I mean who wouldn’t see a father and son playing soccer in the grass in that picture? Kolby’s quite an artist at four years old.
We all encounter people, like Kolby’s artwork. We see them, but we just not sure what we’re looking at. We don’t know the story behind them. Many times we make judgments about them based on what we see or what we think we see.
Some of the survivors of sex trafficking I’ve come to know and love talk about the looks or rude comments directed to them; people assuming they knew who and what they were, when in fact, they didn’t. Because people made assumptions, no one reached out to help them while they were trapped.
Many Christians get frightened by Muslims, Hindu, or Buddhist and therefore avoid them. Judgments are made about them based on what they’ve heard or read, without getting to know the people. Reach out. Ask questions. It’s how we learn and how we release the talons of fear wrapped around us.
In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus tells us,
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Just because we explain a situation or someone looks different from us, doesn’t give us the right to judge. We’re called to love one another. It’s not a suggestion, rather a command [John 13:34]. Jesus doesn’t tell us to love those who look like us, talk like us or act like us. He tells us to love everyone, even our enemies [Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, and Luke 6:35]. It is by our love that others will be drawn to Christ.
Is there someone in your world who is different from you? Rather than shy away from them, reach out to them. Get to know them and learn the story behind the person. You may discover your new best friend.
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