A Story Observed

Four women sat and discussed an airport incident.

A German woman told a story about how she was flying through Germany and was the “lucky number”.

“I was the lucky number – which meant the airport security tore my bags apart. They just tear through your stuff. And I didn’t mind – I told them ‘as a retired flight attendant I can appreciate the extra security. But what about those three women right there!’ “

She went on to describe how the three women behind her had full traditional Muslim garb on and you could only see their eyes. The German women went on to describe how outraged she was that they would inspect her so thoroughly but completely ignore “them”.

“Them.”

And that word has always made us feel better about ourselves – right? The other ones. The ones that by the very nature of their dress make them subject to more security checks, more questions, more interruptions, more ____.

Here’s why my heart breaks – all of us are capable of violence.
All of us are capable of healing.
All of us are capable of courage.

It is always a heart issue – never what head covering we throw on or what shoes we lace up or how far our sleeves extend down our arms. Our soul is where the impressions are molded and formed and made into action – not our skin.

Our heart – that’s the battle ground.

And we’ve tried to discern the heart by such fleeting things – things that return to dust.

So if I had to say something to this German woman, I would say, this:

We’ve all got the same stuff beating in our veins.
We were all made with holy breath and beautiful wonder.
So please don’t say you can know someone by their sleeves or cap or accent.
Because you’re worth more than those things and so are they.
You’re more than your German style and perfect shoes. Not less – more.
And those three women – they are more than they’re garb and fearful eyes as you and everyone else thinks they are capable of more violence.  

But, before our finger is stretched out and our lips easily push out “wrong”, let’s be honest.
Because we have “others” in our life too.

You know, the ones we look at and start telling their sacred story to others without “them” in the room? You know, the coffee time that turns into gossip time?

To be honest, we’re all a little afraid that we’re doing this wrong, not holding things up high enough and feeling like we could be doing better. But that’s hard to say so we call “them” out.

Here’s the short truth that we need in our hands: we’re loved not because our hands do the right thing but because the hands of another.

Right?

And that’s something we need to know when we start telling stories for people – we all need grace, we all need love, and we’re all a little scared we’re doing it wrong.

And we all need to hear love’s voice saying, “It’s finished, done and put away. You’re not locked into the game – fighting to show you’re good enough. Blood has washed the game away. Come dance in grace with me.”

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