Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child. Have fun!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Look and listen

It's almost one-week post election. The negative ads have stopped and for that I am thankful. However, I didn't expect to find even more and vicious name calling and disparaging remarks between groups of people on social media.

Let's be honest, most of live and work within a narrow and limited demographic. Even when we try to position ourselves in a diverse community or workplace we find that even that diversity has its own limited demographic. In that regard, I am grateful to social media for allowing me to have much more diversity in my friendships. Prior to social media, if I stepped out of my comfort zone or that which was "normal" for me for a period of time, my future connectedness with those individuals would be much more limited. Now, the typical pattern is to meet, interact, exchange our social media contact information, and continue to keep in touch at least in some form.

During this election, and especially post-election, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that my friends are pretty evenly split in a 3-way tie, one group having voted for Trump, one for Clinton, and one for neither. The downside to this is that every time I open up my computer I find post after post, article after article, comment after comment with one side disparaging and name-calling the other. This saddens me as neither side seems to really want to get to know the other; only to display his/her own virtues above the other's.

Now, more than ever, we need to look at each other with love. We need to admit our own flaws and blindspots and be willing to have them exposed. We need to look at the plank in our own eye while we to listen to each other with grace. It is easy but simplistic for us to see someone only as the group to which we believe they belong. When we stop to look at the individual, to really get to know that person, and to hear their story, we find that there is so much more below the surface. There is a story that we never knew. Many stories, really. Stories of pain and rejection, hopefully stories of victories and encouragement, but together, those stories are what motivates behavior. I cannot simply choose a box in which to place you based off of a surface relationship with you and I hope you will not choose a box for me - until you really know me. Because often, when we choose a box in which to place someone before taking the time to really know them, we later find that we picked the wrong packaging. How unfortunate to never really know someone and to miss the chance to touch a life for the better and to find our own lives blessed as well.

1 Peter 3:9a
Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them].

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