Love for the Road

crowd silhouetteAs fellow humans, we all experience the same basic emotions. We all grieve at what is lost and rejoice at what is found. We all bury our faces in disappointment and let them beam with joy. We all laugh and cry, think and feel, dream and plan.

I know this, but I can only experience humanity “on the inside” through one person: a certain brown-haired, blue-eyed American I call “me.”

Sometimes I curse the air she breathes, sometimes she seems like the only dark cloud in a fluffy white sky. But usually I like her because I understand her.

I see her thoughts and feelings in vivid detail. I know her intentions, even if they get lost and buried. I know her heart, even if her actions are clumsy and inconsistent. And I know all 24 years of her journey, no matter what it looks like right now.

But you?

I don’t know any of that. Not unless I put in the effort.

I see God in my failures … but what about your failures?

Sometimes, all I see is a person who keeps making the same mistakes and never learns, whose background or personality or values are too different from mine, whose externals must bear all the weight of my judgment. I don’t understand you, and the sad part is, I don’t see that there’s anything to understand.

You’d think that my failures would make me empathetic, that my tears would help me understand yours even if we’re crying for different reasons. And they should.

I may not know how to help you, I may not understand why you do the things you do, I may not see the tears behind that blank face, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try to see, to know, to understand the real you.

But before I can do that, I have to love you. That’s the most important thing: to love you simply because you’re a person, simply because God created you in His image and loves and values you every bit as much as He loves and values me.

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