Nathanael once asked “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” And Philip responded “Come and see,” (John 1:46)
Some people are not only born with the mentality to excel but also with the willingness of others to see them excel.
Some are raised with the concern that their surrounding couldn’t care less if they excel or not.
Some grow up seeing how others around them mostly expect to see them fail.
Some are raised with the skills and mentality to excel and yet later on discover that their success will have to be timed. In other words, they will win the race, accomplish their dreams, but in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th place or whatever order other than the 1st place.
People can and do shine. Yet, their aura is usually imposed by others’ expectations or beliefs of them rather than their own light shining from within.
Depending on what you resemble or sound like, some expect you to be greedy, violent, threatening, careless, challenged, lacking in confidence, weak, ignorant, submissive.
And there’s a kind that seems to glow from within and without. A kind that others beg to hire, a kind whose faults are always accepted, a kind that others push to see succeed. A kind that seems more representable, more appropriate, more proper than all other kinds. A kind that many dreams to see at the top while the other kinds are rightly subordinates since their aura have already been apportioned for them before they were even born.
As Nathanael has said in the reference above, “Can anything good come from there?”
Who will join you in the elevator? Or who will you join in the elevator? This should make a great book title.
I once boarded a cab and engaged the driver in a conversation. Mid-way through our exchange of views and opinions, the driver commented that I sounded like a “white” person. I’m sure the driver didn’t mean to offend me but simply tried to relay what somehow seemed most surprising throughout most of the conversation.
At my very first job as a part-timer while in high-school, someone was somehow assaulted maybe in a parking lot by some stranger. I believe the event took place several months if not over a year after I had started the job. The next day I went to work right after school. I got a call from the front desk. And as I arrived, I heard the security guard said, “Is this the person who attacked you?”. And the alleged victim said, “No.” My supervisor was very upset when he heard how I was pulled into a line-up without him being called or even notified prior. In the mind and expectations of the security guard, I fit the description.
Can anything good come out of a “non-white-skin” person?
When you live in a community that shares the same resemblance, then some easily question, “Can anything good come out of this neighborhood or this family?”
Some have to prove themselves. Others are handed an automatic pass. Some succeed as if they were climbing a stairwell. Others succeed as if they were going up a ladder. Some can sit on one of the steps and catch their breath, retire or resume the climbing unchallenged, having their willingness to not move up be their only obstacle. Others climbing the ladder have two resting positions, the top and bottom of the ladder. They either have to rush up with the hope of making it to the top in time enough to rest, they can also stay put in that unsafe position and maybe try to reach the top again. It seemed so unsafe to either climb down or try to rest at one of the step of the ladder.
Unsafe is not solely a place where robberies, shootings and other forms of physical assaults occur. Unsafe is anywhere one’s presence is not welcomed.
When Christ said, “Come, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”, that’s a very welcoming call.
No matter what level of acceptance the world wants to attribute to you, nothing can surpass God’s acceptance of us, God’s welcoming us to his presence in Christ. Nothing.
The world may be blindsided like both father figures from the movie 1967 version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton. Yet, what is of prime importance is knowing that God loves us regardless of how blind we are toward ourselves and others. Yes, God loves us regardless of our blindness toward Him.
If you ever want to truly respect someone, simply remember that they are loved by God.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
I don’t think people simply need to be reconciled to those who hurt them. I think, above all, they need to be reconciled to who God knows they are to Him. And Christ is the sole witness by the Spirit who can attest to the truth, that God loves and cares for us every second of our lives into eternity. Once you’re reconciled to God’s love for you, then you realize that no mistreatment or misunderstanding or ignorance of mankind can waver you from God’s care.
As Christ once said,
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Church, by grace, let your light, your hope in Christ shine before men by sharing with them God’s love for them.