25 February 2020
Read the Label ~ Signs
Greetings Dear Reader,
In one of my favorite baseball movies, For Love of the Game, there is a conversation about signs:
You know, I always thought that men and women should just carry around signs. If you're poor and you can't afford it, you would make yours out of cardboard and string.
And if you're rich, you could have it lettered in gold leaf or pounded out of tin by craftsmen. It doesn't matter. But you wear them around your neck, see? And they say things, like ''shallow''…
Sometimes people do wear signs or labels that tell us who they are. Often though, they are telling us how they wish to be perceived. T-Shirts and tattoos tell us who others support, where they belong, what they have been through, and what they believe. Sometimes we learn things that let us know another better. Sometimes we learn that which we turn into judgment based on a label.
The idea is that people express who they are or wish to be through labels as well. Some are sincere, some entertainment, and some wishful. All of them tell us something about the person if we look beyond the label to what it teaches us about them.
These signs are an opportunity. They are the chance to learn and perhaps find a way to know someone better. Too often, we choose instead to use the signs worn by others to divide them into people we would know or reject. They become dividers instead of uniting us. They are an invitation to see something about a human we are supposed to love.
Some of these signs create a division that is harmless. We must pity the person wearing the Clemson shirt at Sanford Stadium. They are simply proclaiming their loyalty to a lost cause. We must not take the proclamation as an excuse to disrespect or reject a human. What we must do is see past the orange to the person who is there.
Even the signs that represent hatred and evil are carried by those the Father loves. There is where our opportunity is found. Forewarned of their love of evil, we can respond out of our love for God. We can walk through the hedge they put around their world and show them the love of Christ. This is how we are supposed to live.
There is a reason Dear Reader that I did not say which symbols. We all have signs and labels that represent hatred to us. They are different depending upon your world view. What is a sacred symbol to some is heinous to others. Our obligation is to love them beyond the signs they carry. No matter if the sign is a warning or a joyful proclamation, my obligation is to see it as knowledge of the person that will allow me to love them more meaningfully. It is just another chance to show the Father’s love.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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