I was talking to my counselor yesterday and made an interesting observation I thought I'd share with you...
A few mornings each week, I’ll go walk at Lake Remembrance near the local Target. (It’s so beautiful! One of my favorite parts of Blue Springs.) I go often enough that I recognize the regulars and we smile and share niceties. I was sharing with my counselor how much I enjoy these walks because of these surface-level pleasantries, when I realized that the reason I enjoy them is because I can interact with people without actually getting to KNOW them.
I can exchange a smile and wave, without knowing…
…if they are racist.
…if they are hateful.
…if they are gossips.
…if they hold fundamentally different views about the world.
…if they are prideful.
…if they are selfish.
My walk is peaceful because there is no depth to it. Only surface pleasantries.
And it made me realize how when you get to know someone, you risk getting to know the ugly parts of them as well.
Which is why a lot of us just save ourselves the trouble. We hold back, put up walls, keep an arm’s length… because we never know who might actually be disappointing, or even worse, hurtful and antagonistic.
I think this is why people have fewer friends today than in the past and why social communities of all shapes and sizes are shrinking: Life is safer when we simply enjoy the company of a handful of people we actually trust.
But Jesus didn’t live that way. He was compassionate and open to people… even people who were nailing him to the cross.
So how does that translate to today? How do find and nurture authentic relationships when they involve… people?
We’ll find out more this weekend in worship :)