When We Dance Together

Monday, February 24

2-24By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

—Matthew 5:47–48

I try to acknowledge people as they pass me, looking for a seat on the bus or even sitting next to me. I not only try to see the Spirit in them, but to affirm them. Affirmation gives others the sense that someone else notices that they “are.” They have value and worth.

As people come in contact with me I may merely nod to them, perhaps smile, and on some occasions we talk. Most folks are a passing story. I just present to them a look in my eyes that says “you count for something.”

I often rode the bus with a young woman named Calista. She was 21 years old at the time, afflicted with cerebral palsy, and I had difficulty understanding her. Still we enjoyed a connection over those months we rode together. I learned a little more of her story. While I knew her, she married and seemed happy. I hope she knows that matters to me.

I often wondered if physical, emotional, intellectual challenges mask the inner person. Patrick has Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and is 10 years younger than I. I saw him regularly on the bus for about three years. I understood about 10 percent of what Pat said, but his character came through loud and clear. Despite our limitations, all people reflect the God who made them.

As we dance into the rest of our existence, limitations fall away. We will be known. We are worthy of the wonder of our creation. I imagine that it pleases God when we all dance together.

Prayer for Peace
Loving God, all people of your creation have worth. May we learn to look past the physical shell and see the spiritual people—to see the reflection of their Creator. To see the Christ whose peace we share.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons
Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has of you and every child. Be aware of the sacred Worth of All Persons. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will take the time to affirm the passing stranger.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Sue Fardell

     /  24 February 2014

    It is so important to acknowledge all people no matter where you are. A simple smile can do wonders to the soul.


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