Saturday, March 14, 2015

Unity and Hope Through Humanity

I stood in a hot, crowded, dirty hospital room nestling a brand new, tiny baby in my arms in the middle of SE Asia. Prayers were going up in three different languages while the new life in my arms began to whimper. I slide off to the side, repositioned, and bounced away the whimpers. As I was standing there, I caught myself whispering words over this beautiful baby boy. "Lord, protect this life, guide his parents, develop the bond with his twin brother. Lord, let them see you. Lord, let them see you! Let them see you!" 

This moment might be one of the most precious moments of my life to date, right there with holding my own babies for the first time. It wasn't expected. God led us to this woman and new life. I didn't know what to expect when we climbed the long ramp and entered the crowded room. I was dying to get my momma hands on one of the precious babes, but wasn't sure if I would be allowed. When the baby was placed in my arms, I was filled with so much love and joy, the rest of the world faded away.  

My vision became tunnel vision only able to see one thing. 

All I saw was raw and real humanity. 

I became blind to the dirt, the heat, the smells, and all the other cringe worthy concerns of that hospital. In that moment, I no longer felt pity or worried about contamination or the like. 

I had to later process the conditions of that overcrowded hospital room, but in that moment all I could see were people. 

People. Real people. Real life. 

People excited to welcome new life. People worried about bills, pain, and adjusting to life with 2 babies. People mourning loss of life in one bed while rejoicing together with new life in the other. 

The conditions, the circumstances, and the culture might have been different, but the emotions, fears, and love filling that room were the same. 

 I have stories on top of stories about our recent trip to SE Asia. I love sharing them. I love that they have helped rewrite the way I see things. I love that when I talk with my friend Lauren, I know who and what she is referring to.

Most of the stories must be told by mouth, in living rooms or on porches over cups of coffee and glasses of sweet tea. I had such an opportunity last weekend to fill my living room with 15 sweet friends and smother them will all the SE Asia I could muster. It was intimate, beautiful, and fun. We laughed, we cried, we walked through muddied waters, and mapped out the path God is weaving in that city. 

Though, If I could only share one thing with you from our trip, it would be this. 

These people, the poor, oppressed, searching, lost, etc. people, they are real. 

They aren't just some idea or cause.

They aren't untouchable, dumb, or another statistic. 

They are real people walking through hurt, loss, love, life, and beauty. 

They are much more the same than they are different. 

They are human, feeling all the feels and dreaming all the dreams.

Just like you. 

You are not just a label, personality, degree, or career. You are a person. A real breathing, feeling, dreaming person. How would you feel if you were only identified by your bank account, or lack thereof? 

I could give you about 9 million 'differences' between the SE Asia land and the American land I stand on. I could dissect how things are better and worse in each place. I have had a lot to process, take in, and attempt to wrap my mind around. There is a place and time for all of those things. 

But seeing people as human, that is the lesson to take away. 

Our humanity is what unites us. 

We can gather around the throne and unite in Jesus, because at the end of the day, regardless of where we come from, go, or what language leaves our lips, we are all human

People searching for something greater than ourselves. People searching for love, grace, and acceptance while finding our way through this crazy gift of life. 

And Jesus, he joins us in that, because, likewise, he tasted humanity.
He felt it, lived it, and died in it. 

The specifics and details may be different, but the emotions, challenges, and processes are so much of the same. 

Oh, the hope that comes from this. 

We can overcome differences, mistakes, and failures when we see others as human. When we only see differences, mistakes, and failures, we fail to see people as human. When we fail to see humanity as human, we lose all hope. 

My prayer upon returning has repeatedly been, "Lord, let me see people as you see them, as created, beautiful, broken people". 

 When we simply begin to see people as people, without all the labels, we can slowly start to change the world.

Let's start to change the world...