Today's Lectionary Text
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
Have you ever looked at an animal and thought, “What was God thinking when he made that?” I admit I seem to have an affinity for awkward animals. I love the flamingo with the yo-yo in “Fantasia 2000.” I’m a big fan of moose with their long legs and big ears. My current favorites are the llama and alpaca.
It probably speaks more to my awkwardness then theirs that these are some of my favorite creatures on earth.
But those very things that make these animals appear awkward are the strengths that help them to survive. We may not see it at first glance, but if we get to know more about the animal the more we understand its purpose.
Doesn’t this ring true for the people around us as well? I know that I tend to look on the surface and make snap decisions about people based only on social media or limited social contact. Lately, I’ve felt God telling me to look deeper at these interactions, give more grace to relationships, and like my favorite strange animals dig deeper to find the strengths of those around me that may be hidden or uncovered.
What relationship am I missing because I disagree with someone politically? What understanding am I cheating myself of by avoiding a tough conversation? What deep wisdom and I missing out on simply because I haven’t taken the time to dig into community with others?
Today I challenge all of us to look beyond the surface, to dig deep into relationships with each other and with God. It’s going to get awkward; it’s likely going to feel weird. But I believe that it will be worth it.
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Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, help us to look upon others with your eyes. Encourage us to engage with those around us, particularly with those with whom we do not always agree. Help us to extend your grace to others so that they might see you through us.
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