Thursday, July 10, 2014

Acceptance

In a shady corner in our yard is a rose bush that's never done very well. Every year it seems to become infested with spider mites, and I've been more and less effective in getting rid of them at different times. The poor little bush is often sadly neglected, and I've been tempted to judge it useless and tear it out. But for some reason, I've always wanted to see it bloom, and this year, it did!

I've been thinking a lot lately about our human tendency to judge each other... and how inhumane it can be. Where does it come from? Our need to be superior, our desire to be the best? But when we judge others, we are limiting our relationship with them by putting them in boxes of our own making.

Wouldn't it be better if we could just take people as they are, with all their foibles and limitations? It's the people who accept us as we are, who truly love us, whom we appreciate the most in our lives. Shouldn't we try to be that kind of person for all those around us? Isn't that what Jesus came to show us by his life?

I love this quotation:
The belief in the inner beauty of each and every human being is... at the heart of all true education and at the heart of being human. As soon as we start selecting and judging people instead of wlecoming them as they are - with their sometimes hidden beauty, as well as their more frequently visible weaknesses - we are reducing life, not fostering it. When we reveal to people our belief in them, their hidden beauty rises to the surface where it may be more clearly seen by all.
-Jean Vanier, Becoming Human, p. 23 

Maybe we're all called to give the benefit of the doubt to all the rosebushes in our lives so that they can, eventually, surprise us with their hidden beauty.

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