Some time ago I led a workshop at a Lutheran church. A few weeks later, the pastor sent me the reflection of a high school student who attended the event. Her writing strengthened my heart for this work. I hope it will do the same for you.
After attending the “Neighbors In Faith” forum before worship, presented by Pastor Terry Kyllo, it became irrationally real to me how separated we have become. As I listened to his moving message, I couldn’t help but think of something I try to live my life by.
The thought of God loving everyone always presses me on a day-to-day basis. I go to school with people I care deeply for, regardless of their beliefs. Because I’ve al-ways only seen them as a person first, not what they’re labeled as. I have always chosen to love first, and I feel like that feeling of comfort, that God loves each and every one of us unconditionally, no matter what we do, has shaped my mind this way.
It pains me so deeply to think that other people make snap judgements about one another just because of what religion they relate to or who they love. I find it disturbing, to put it frankly. Because we are told to love our sisters and brothers. Just as God has loved us, we shall love our neighbors. And us as a society, has always been better together, than apart. Some of us fail to see this. I don’t necessarily agree with how so-and-so believes, but that doesn’t make her any less of a person. I still cherish our friendship and continue to hang out with her any chance I get. We don’t need to be the same to love each other. After all, I’d rather see the world with colored glasses, that shows me the beauty of the world, rather than a dull, black and white one. The world without diversity isn’t beautiful, but a world with it is one to want to live in.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4-8