N.B. Excuse this blog for being a bit long and all over the place, I have had a quiet few days and the lack of human contact sends my brain into overload on the thinking front. I have also just watched three emotional films.
Over the last few days I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a human. What defines us from any other species or group of beings. Is it our ability to feel or to think rationally, or to recognise our emotions and change them? Or maybe our relationship with the Creator God, acknowledging his power and authority over our lives. To be honest, I don't know. But there is one thing that I have realised over the last couple of weeks.
Everyone is an individual. I know this sounds pretty obvious, but just stick with me here, okay? Every single person - whether young, old, male, female, fat, thin, English, Irish, American, Filipino, Kenyan, or Eskimo - has the ability to feel, to think, and to recognise God in their own situation. Everyone. There are no exceptions, no boundaries and no rules defining who has the right. Because everyone has it. Because every person is an individual, with a brain, a heart, and emotions and feelings that guide them through their lives.
And yet, why are we, as individuals, all too quick to put people into caterogories, into groups, and then judge them on their belonging or not belonging to that group? I am not exempt from this. But now I have recognised that I do it, I can work to try and challenge those assumptions in my mind as they come up. And I too, am subject to that judgement. People may look at my age, or at my clothes, or at my face, and make assumptions about me that I wish to challenge. Assumptions that are helpful to neither me, nor the assumptionee (is that a word?).
There have been a number of occasions that I can recall has led me to this realisation. Whilst at school this week with Phil, Jo and Aileen, a pupil got dramatically upset over a minor incident towards the end of the lesson. My initial reaction would have been to laugh, but before I did, I felt compassion to the boy who was feeling grieved and hurt, and that made me stop and think.
Another time I was waiting for the train (a regular occurrance) and I got chatting to a lady who was travelling to London for her mother's funeral. She was not the kind of person that I would have glanced twice at when passing in the street, but we talked all the while we were waiting for the train (which was a long time, naturally...) and I came away from the conversation happy that I had been able to share for a while in that lady's life, if only for half an hour.
Both of these experiences have left a dent in my thoughts this week. It has made me realise how important it is to recognise each person as one, before associating them with the majority. Or in some cases, the minority. Everyone feels something, whether it be the satisfaction, peace and love of knowing and following Christ, or the stark painful reality that life is not going so well, and that no matter how much you cry out for love, deep down you believe that no-one is there to help you. That you're really all alone. That no matter how much people say they love you, their actions make you believe different. That you could shut yourself in your room night after night, and hurt so badly inside, but no-one really cares enough to ask you the right questions.
Every person, as a 'one' on their own, will be lonely. Every person will fall flat on their face. But with help, with God's love, the 'ones' become the people that the world needs to change. Don't let the one's stay as one's. Each person has a right to know and love Christ, and to realise His amazing love for them. Cause 'one is the loneliest number that you'll ever know.'