By Timothy Nixon.
People are different. We all have different personalities. Different interests. Different opinions. We come from different backgrounds – have different life experiences. There is a wide breadth and beauty to the vast differences we can find among ourselves. There is a richness of humanity that is too large to reside in any single person. An Image of God that spans the human race.
Differences are challenging, though. We like to be with people we can relate to. We are drawn to people who are like us in some way. Often we turn away from those who are more different in favor of those who are more similar. In doing so we create in our social network a bubble of similarity, protecting us from appreciating our differences. This is so very natural and easy to do – I’ve done it myself.
In an intentional community like Grace on the Hill, though, we are challenged to connect with each other regardless of how different or similar we are. We are challenged to see the whole of each person and embrace them as part of our community regardless. In so doing we are challenged to recognize and admire our differences, big and small as they may be. When we leave here, perhaps we will have learned that difference is something to be embraced. Perhaps we will be more comfortable in appreciating the differences we see in the people we will come to meet. Perhaps we will leave here different than the way we came.