Suppose

crowd - different colors

Whenever I meet someone,
anyone
who is different than I
(which, despite the innate commonality of our humanity,
could be, would be anyone),
especially someone wholly different than I
in appearance,
in opinion and conviction,
even in manner and temper,
suppose I perceived that one
as a divine-sent emissary
who, precisely by the virtue of our differences,
posed, in human flesh, this God-breathed question:
“Will you, Paul, respect the human dignity
that I bestowed upon this one and you at creation
or will you, considering, condemning this one as ‘other’ to you,
as ‘other’ than you,
retreat, dragging this one into the shadows of your phobia
to hang on the gallows of your prejudice? Choose!”

Now, suppose I learned and practiced,
more oft than not
(for my phobias and prejudices alway are
neither far to seek
nor hard to find),
to act first toward another, toward all others
in, with the love and justice of Jesus,
then might it be that I might learn and practice
to do, to be the same with the inescapable “other” I see in my mirror?

2 thoughts on “Suppose

  1. Suppose!!! WOW, that would be a miracle. I was praying for that this afternoon during the two votes. I was supposing that they’d do as you suggested, BUT it was not to be….
    Thanks for this Paul! I’ll keep supposing!!
    Much love!

    Like

  2. Loretta, this – that is, seeing others, all others as God-sent to pose the question of whether we will accept them as fellow humans and not, in our phobia and prejudices about their differences, dismiss them – may be a miracle, that is, something super(above and beyond the grasp of our current, human)natural(tendencies). I pray not. Though it does seem to me that so many engagements and encounters break down with people ending communication and civility and choosing sides. It has gotten to the point, it also seems to me, that it almost doesn’t matter what folk, we believe, but rather which/whose side of an argument are we on. That latter seems to determine our behavior more than anything else, including our ethically professed values.

    Lord, have mercy.

    Love

    Liked by 1 person

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