In light of the tragic events that have been happening in our world I have been asking and searching for how we have gotten to this place of hatred and anger? I think we can all agree that ignoring it is no longer and option. A friend recommended this TED talk from Anand Giridharadas, which highlights the shrinking middle class of America and how we can easy isolate ourselves in a bubble we did not even know we created. What is more striking is his suggestion that we may be more of a part of the problem than we realize. We are asking why “these people” are not showing love, grace and acceptance, but how are we actively showing grace, love and acceptance to “them?” Of course we love on “our people” but how are we actively showing love to people outside of our bubble? I am guilty of it. I am now wondering when the next attack will take place. I certainly do not have the answers but I do know that as a Christian I am called to love on all of God’s people and that includes people outside of my bubble and showing grace, love and acceptance for people who live differently than me. It starts with our actions every day and to show that person we may come across in the “mini-mart” our grace, love and acceptance. To take a few extra minutes to hear someone’s story.
I was on my way home from a family vacation last weekend and I was approached in a gas station by a young woman who asked for my help. She was like the man in this story…pale with tattoos on her arms and she asked if she could get some gas money to get home. She lived 20 minutes away so she only needed $5. I must admit that my first response was of fear and why me? There were plenty of other people around but she picked me. I felt like this was an opportunity to get out of my bubble and hear her story. So I walked over and filled her tank with gas as she told me she was afraid she would go to jail if she asked me for help at the gas station but thought it was worth the risk. I was shocked…she thought I may get her arrested if she asked for help? Is this the perception that the underprivileged have? That we just want them in jail? I told her I would not do that and that we all need some help sometimes. Honestly, it left me thinking that I could have done more and should be doing more to reach out and love someone that is not in my bubble and could use a little love, grace and acceptance.