“I don’t know what it’s like to be you. You don’t know what it’s like to be me. What if we’re all the same in different kinds of ways….can you relate?”-For King and Country
Recently, I had the privilege of sharing part of my story in our church’s singles group, and I was nervous. There are no skeletons in what I shared…in fact, I sounded a lot like Maria in The Sound of Music-raised sheltered and devoted to my calling-a bit of a prude. But I knew that even if others could not relate to my story, they could on some level relate to the wrestle of waiting well….
What was most important to me, though, was not my story. I just deeply desired to honor the room. I knew my story was not everyone’s story. I knew we had very unique stories present, and not everyone was in the same place in their journey with what brought them to this season of singleness. This idea, of being in the same room due to a partially shared experience, but having so many in the throes of their own journeys and wrestling experiences with God stirred a deep desire to provide a safe space where all could relate.
In society today, the word relate takes on different meanings. For some, it means asking the question- “are you the same as me?” For others, relating is a tolerance and total acceptance of choices and actions. I’d like to submit that providing a safe space to relate means providing a place for honor to be alive.
Merriam Webster defines honor “to regard or treat (someone) with admiration or respect” or “to give special recognition to.” The second definition would correlate with author and pastor Danny Silk’s definition of honor: “In a culture of honor, leaders courageously treat people according to the names God gives them and not according to the aliases they receive from people. They treat people as friends, not slaves. As righteous, not sinners. As wealthy, not poor.” To me, that sounds a lot like how Jesus welcomed so many in His short time here on earth (Mark 6:56, Luke 8:4-56 to name a few). Could it be because Jesus saw them through His Father’s lens-a lens of honor that called out who they were created to be in Him?
What could happen if we approached relating to others in the same way-realizing we’re all the SAME in different ways-with a Kingdom design and purpose as daughters of God and sisters in His Kingdom? Let’s strive to honor the way Jesus showed honor-recognizing the Kingdom design of those around us and providing a safe place to relate…