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Look past the surface

Look past the surface
Photo by Jessica Connor

By Jessica Connor

As humans, we put all sorts of social constraints on our ourselves. Beyond race, ethnicity or creed, we like to further divide ourselves: Are we “Southern,” “Northern” or “Midwestern?” “Liberal” or “conservative?”

Spend some time with a child and you’ll find their blatant disregard for these societal trappings refreshing. Kids see skin color, sometimes. They see age. But they don’t see much difference between a woman in her thirties and one in her sixties. They can’t tell if a person is “monied” based on the designer shoes she wears or if she carries a Coach purse or one from the discount bin. They can’t tell what denomination a person is; they just want to know if you believe in Jesus.

Recently, I spent some time with people living in poverty. As a busy mom of two who works full-time and then some, I have my hands full, and I don’t get many chances to slip away from my daily existence and take some quality downtime just talking to people. But on a pretty July morning I got the chance to drive around Greenville with Rev. Jerry Hill and hang out with people I might not have the chance to meet in my normal hustle-and-bustle. I met John, who lives under a bridge, whose sad eyes still haunt me as he speaks of getting out of there and getting a job in that mythical “one day.” I met Lisa, who was so skinny she looked like she might break but who wrapped me in a strong sweet hug and smelled like all mothers should: like love and kindness and home. I met Howard, who gripped my hands and asked me how I’m really doing, who reminded me that God can make all things new.

On the surface, these men and women looked nothing like me. But they were everything like me: regular struggling souls in a big crazy world, doing their best to get by and do good and be kind to others.

I wonder what we look like from above: all these specks of life scurrying to and fro, busy doing everything and nothing. And it reminds me that none of that busy-ness is truly important. What matters is how we treat each other, how well we serve our Lord.

We have our humanity in common. All of us, no matter our current circumstance.

Let’s keep that in mind and treat each other well.

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