My wife had an interesting experience with my kids on the way to school the other day. (Amazing conversations happen during this time if we listen.)
My oldest son, mentioned that South Africa only has white people. My wife’s jaw dropped as she informed him that 90% of the country is black. They began counting people on the street and sure enough the stats proved true.
When he wondered why, my wife made mention that it is easier to see people like us. My oldest son is white and he saw people who looked like him. This thought was confirmed by his younger brother who said he sees all the black people! Guess which color he is?
Why do we often miss these obvious things?
I’d like to offer two possible responses to those different than us:
1. We see those “like us” favorable light.
Favorably is the key word here. People who look like us, act like us, and talk like us must be good people. They are like us after all.
Sure, we may still notice others are different. Often the noticing of these odd ducks is in a suspicious or judgmental light. We are experts in seeing those we don’t like or disagree with their lifestyle.
They are the type of people or the race we always pick out of a crowd with derogatory thoughts flooding our minds. We may notice them, but not in a favorable light. Try it, its shocking to recognize our preconceptions!
2. Those different than us completely disappear.
After awhile, we become adept at tuning out those who are different. We subconsciously distance ourselves from the poor, the downtrodden, or the outcast.
It is easier to no longer see them than it is to deal with the pain or issue they raise.
We each walk by thousands of hurting people a day, often without a thought.
In our attempt to be Christ-like, we must consider something.
Jesus was different.
Jesus went to the cultural outcasts (women)
Jesus went to the “losers” or half breeds. (Samaritans)
Jesus gave a voice to the voiceless (lepers)
Jesus went to the economically and hygienically challenged (fishermen)
Jesus went to the porn stars and the mafia bosses (Mary and Matthew)
Which type of people have you become blind too? Which demographic do you struggle to see in a favorable light? Do you too have selective sight?
Don’t tell us which type of person or people group. You know who they are.
Instead, as an acknowledgement of accepting the challenge; pass on this post or just fill in the comment and say “me”
Let me be the first.