An older monk says to a younger monk:
“I have finally learned to accept people as they are. Whatever they are in the world, a prostitute, a prime minister, it is all the same to me. But sometimes I see a stranger coming up the road and I say, ‘Oh, Jesus Christ, is it you again?’” (retold by Kathleen Norris)
My commitment, or perhaps my intention, to see the holy in everyone is constantly put to the test. Whether from watching the news or being in relationships in my everyday life, I find myself challenged to keep looking at others as part of the sacred circle of life.
It’s easier to say, ‘she’s lazy’, or ‘he’s exasperating,’ or worse. And believe me, I don’t write this because I hold on to some ultra-pietism that calls for an overestimation of any one’s perfection. Especially not my own.
And yet, I am more aware of the shortfalls of others than I am of my own missteps and downright . . . well, wrongness. Is that a word?
I heard this great TED Talk called “On Being Wrong.” The speaker asked, “how does it feel when you are wrong?” She skillfully left a pause, then she said, “it feels like you are right!” Usually, when we are wrong we don’t know it. We are blinded by ignorance, self-deception, and a whole backpack full of reasons that keep us from seeing.
But, if we can summon up the courage to open to knowing that we might be wrong, as Oliver Cromwell famously said, then we might just have a chance at improving ourselves, and our relationships.
Come to DiscipleChurch in Leonard Memorial Chapel on Sunday. We start at 8:30 am, so you have plenty of time for the rest of your June day.