How can you love someone if you’re not willing to understand them?
We are not trying to make you change your mind. We are not trying to force you to switch your opinion. We are trying to make you think. The goal is to critically think. It is to attempt to understand other worldviews, other standpoints, and other human beings.
As Christians, (and this could be a generalization but also an observation), I feel we fail hard when we are solely seeking out others similar to ourselves. We remain within the confines of our comfort and because of that, we fail to think critically, to challenge our thoughts, to wrestle with our beliefs, and to truly love and express compassion. So when the time comes to experience something or someone different from us, something that makes us uncomfortable, someone that challenges or confronts our ideas, we back away. We cannot seem to just get over ourselves and our own boundaries in order to see life from a different perspective. Maybe it’s because we are scared. Terrified that we will sweat, that we will have to check ourselves, that we might possibly be wrong. How can we practice the Christ kind of love and compassion, two key factors I believe are essential as a Christ follower, if we never aim to understand? If we never attempt to step outside our comfort zones. If we are never open to others different from ourselves. If we are never wrestling, challenging, experiencing. We surround ourselves with others who do not really challenge, only affirm and tell us we are right. We talk of things like “diversity” and “God’s kingdom” yet we are only drawn to small differences that are easy to swallow and a kingdom of uniformity.
When I say step outside your comfort zone, it does not just mean in traveling, exploring, and doing new things. As a follower of Christ, it means in everything. It means getting uncomfortable. It means thinking critically and outside your normal thought habits. It means more than one right answer. It means dropping walls. It means vulnerability. It means compassion. Most importantly, it means love. True Christ-like love.
"A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living ﬁre to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."
A snippet from my Senior Seminar paper on the Social Construction of Gender and How it Perpetuates Inequality
#social construction of gender
The aim should be to see humans in all of their multiplicity, in all of who God made them to be. By implementing certain boxes and social constructions that force people to fall to either one category or another, into blue or pink, into specific gender roles, into certain personalities, we are placing dangerous limits on God’s capabilities in creation. We are implying that those who conform and play into socially constructed roles are favored and that those who are slightly different, those who deviate from a man-made norm of what gender is supposed to be like are to stop being themselves, are to stop being who God actually intended them to be—complex, complicated, and beautiful human beings, shining in a God-created uniqueness. God’s power has no boundaries. It breaks down boxes, exceeds limits, and surpasses all capacities.
Calling & Strengths
I’m currently extremely bored in my class so I will just write down what one of our worksheets say.
With my strength in…I am called to…:
Communication—talk, write, to share the story
Futuristic—dream and envision
Positivity—see the good, bring an optimistic perspective
Woo—be influential, win others over
Future Self, remember your strengths and make sure you incorporate these into whatever you pursue as a career. There is a reason these are your strengths.
"We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known."
When I graduate, I will make it a point to read more. To learn more. And to continue my process of cognitive stretching.
"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
Here's Some Half Epiphanies →
At age 30, I chose to quit my job and live on a bicycle for a year and a half. Actually I chose to do it at 27, but knew I would do it when I turned 30. Now I’m seven months and four thousand miles away from Florence, Oregon. I’m in Medellin, Colombia and I’m holding a grab bag full of…