The first time I remember the 'aha' moment crashing over me, I was riding in the car with my husband and one year old baby boy while 'Yo Gabba Gabba' was blaring through the speakers.
|Brady at his 3rd B-day party with his Brobee Gabba cake.|
Both of my children have loved this odd and quirky show. At first I was mortified by the strange characters and apparent drug use that it took to create this show. Upon further observation, I quickly began to realize this very weird show portrayed a great message. The lyrics and story lines are educational and positive. I mean, Muno was a key element in helping teach Brady to not bite his friends. It was a dark few months of biting any kid in his way, we were grasping at straws.
The day of the 'aha' moment the song differences was playing. I looked at Caleb and said, "I just learned something from Yo Gabba". He sighed and looked over with a look that shouted oh boy here she goes again.
One line in the song says all my friends are different, but I love them all the same.
Bam! Right in the face it slapped me. All are different, but loved the same.
I worked out the thoughts flooding my mind while my mouth struggled to keep up and share them with listening ears. I looked at him and asked, "why don't people believe this? Think of the possibilities if people would love and embrace the differences of their friends instead of compare and beat each other down over them? I don't think I have done a good job at this. I am going to do better at this. "
Once I had spilled all my thoughts on the subject. I mentally prayed a quick prayer that I would be able to effectively teach my children to love and embrace the differences of those around them by my example of loving and embracing those around me.
Four years later and I still whisper this prayer when the song plays in our van. My prayer has developed and changed some, though. Over the years my eyes have been opened to all the ways we allow differences to hold us back.
If I could tell the whole world one thing it would be that different doesn't always equal wrong.
Brady may have said it best about this time last year when he marched into the kitchen and announced, "Alma(our hispanic neighbor) has much darker skin than me." I asked him what he thought about that and he quickly replied, "I don't think about that".
The truth is different is just different.
(Disclaimer: I am not talking about differences which go against absolute truth, sin, or breaking the law. There are differences that could be considered wrong, but they should still be greeted with love. ;) That is a different ball game, I am speaking of just plain old, every day differences.)
I take great comfort that I believe in a God who intentionally created humans to each be unique. A God who designed the church to be like a body with all different parts working together for a common purpose. A God who is wise enough to know that in order for things to work, grow, and progress, differences are necessary.
At some point we as a society have decided that if something is different it must be bad, wrong, or evil. When a friend parents a little differently than we do, we often immediately begin to defend our decisions instead of loving and respecting one another. When a sister serves and shows obedience a little bit differently, we often become critical and begin to compare works. When a Christian college graduate decides to live a single life, we often wonder what is wrong with them or other things. When a neighbor who looks a little different moves onto our street, we often swirl thoughts of lowering property values and changing demographics of our community around in our minds.
I could go on and on, but the point is the world NEEDS different, not criticism, comparison, or hate.
We each have to learn how to be who God intended us to be while loving, encouraging, and allowing others to also be who He intended them to be.
It is hard, ugly, and downright messy at times. BUT when we all appreciate each other and work together while finding a balance of giving and taking and shouting and holding back, then mountains will move.
The key to learning all of this begins with love.
It is so simple and so complex.
Think of the possibilities if the world believed this. Think of the way things would change if instead of defending differences we welcomed them. Think of the work we could accomplish if we allowed the foot to be a foot and the hand to be a hand. Think of the glory God would receive if we chose to grab each others hand and shout we are all different, but we love all the same.
Today I ask you to allow God to reveal where you are allowing differences to hold you back and where you can insert love and begin to embrace those differences around you.