The Simple Answer to World Peace
Relationships are the key to what we're craving
I’m convinced that the peace and understanding we’re craving in our culture can only happen through relationships. Relationships with people who are different than us. Those with a different skin color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, income level, age, favorite sports team… Our current culture is rooted in Us vs. Them thinking. We are the good ones and those “over there” are threatening everything we stand for, so they must be defeated or converted. But when we get to know another person we previously judged as “less than” or maybe we were just afraid of, we find that we have a lot more in common than we ever imagined. It’s such an eye-opening experience. It’s messy, but transcendently beautiful.
We begin working to find ways to defend, protect and ennoble our new brothers and sisters, rather than dismiss or sequester them. Our hearts will be moved to compassion when tragedy strikes them, and we will look for the best ways to come alongside and love them through it all. You’re doing this already, but probably with a whole bunch of people who look and believe just like you.
So…How do we enter into relationship with people who are different than us? For me, traveling has been a tremendous opportunity to learn about so many diverse people. Reading books and watching movies are also great ways to learn about the joys and dreams, pains and fears of other people. Most importantly, though, as we uncover God’s heart for us—a heart filled with grace, mercy, and unconditional love—we can then work to find ways to share that same grace, mercy, and unconditional love to every single person we meet.
We have the whole world to explore—filled with incredibly beautiful people with hearts that beat exactly like ours. We can move toward each other seeking to listen and understand. Not to get them to become more like us, but to uncover the image of God in them that we haven’t yet been able to see.