It’s the 4th of July. People are moving through the stadium gates towards the concessions stands or seats. Over the murmur of happy voices is the crack of a ball meeting bat. The FirstNLR Deaf Church returned to Traveler’s Stadium to just hang out. Opportunities to build relationships, start new ones, and generally have a good time.
I love it. Everyone you see is a walking biography to be read. It’s a time to see everyone relaxing, kids running around under the adults’ watchful eyes, life moving forward. New relationships were growing. Curiosity sparked in flurries of questions.
We tend to see people in one environment only. In only one role, presenting themselves in a specific way. One kid stuck out like a sore thumb. A quiet goth who looked bored. That was just the book’s cover.
He opened up, intensely curious about sign language, he spoke to everyone with a multitude of questions. Everyone answered as best we could. He was a nice kid. Remember that old adage about a book and its cover?
I watched a pastor outside her usual church setting. Small talk, watching the game occasionally. When the music started, she danced with one kid, then led the chicken dance for all the kids. When explosions rocked the sky, sitting quietly with her son, and minutes later helping someone.
Others sat quietly through it all. When it was time to go, a few began cleaning up rather than leaving it for the staff. People aren’t two-dimensional, there is depth to everyone. What we see is brief clips in the movies that is their lives.
In a post filled with analogies, this is my favorite. People are like origami. Take all that they are: personality, roles, experiences, dreams, history, etc., and write it on a piece of paper.
Now fold it into a swan or something. On every exposed fold, we see only a few words. A lot of it is hidden from view. It’s a good reminder that when it comes to people, the list of what we know is much shorter than what we don’t know about them. Wait before drawing conclusions.
“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” John 7:24 NIV
Be informed, especially in these days of panic, fear, and social media comments flying like bullets in a drive-by.