It is with great pleasure I welcome my dear friend Kelly Balarie to the blog today. She is an encourager extraordinaire. Kelly sees the positive in everything. Her warmth is endearing, her energy contagious. Kelly has a unique way of knowing just what her reader needs and how to get to the heart of the matter. Today is no different. Enjoy….
When You Feel Different
Standing there, remembering, it felt like these moments happened just 5 minutes ago…they still weigh heavy. Somehow, everything about these situations said so much about me. Here’s how they played out:
1. I cut the strawberries carefully, practically savoring the trifle I’d soon pick apart. Conversations were ample, fun and full. Juice ran off my fingertips and I loved the feeling, the freeness, the summer air. Life was good, until, I came undone by her words,
“You cut differently than I do.”
2. A friend joined me for a morning IV of coffee. We connected, discussing: who we are, where we will go, and how we will approach things. But as quickly as the caffeine jolt appeared, it was crashed with his words,
“Well, I am just different from you. I don’t do things like that.”
3. She was kind. So kind. I love her. I still do, but it stung deep when she said,
“I believe differently than you do.”
Differences make us feel odd and outside the norm. Rather than feeling like a belonger, we feel like an outsider. Underneath, we hear hostile threats, declaring,
“You are wrong. You are not as good as me.”
Ever noticed? These threats come in all different shapes and sizes: A child whose dreams, views or agendas are different. A spouse who thinks “contrarian”. A job moving forward with different plans than the ones you were committed to. A person who looks nothing like you. An opinion that doesn’t resonate with yours. A person you can’t relate to. Backgrounds you don’t understand.
What difference is threatening you?
Unlikeness, that is pointed out by another, can feel like getting hit with an arrow of judgment. Those hit, always defend themselves.
Injury and fight rise up in the words “You are different.”
Healing and unity rise up in words:
1. I understand what you are saying.
2. I have been there too.
3. I could see how you feel that way.
4. I love hearing how you do things.
5. Thank you for sharing. I love hearing about you.
5. Me too.
What if we were to look at what pulls us together, versus what sets us apart?
God loves unity:
– “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Cor. 1:10
– “Put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col. 3:14
– “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Ps. 133:1
– “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12
– “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23
Healing is in the holding of hands, the commonality of shared courage and in the hope of glory. It is the vision that transcends pain, problems and personas. It is in finding the small thread, the common desire engrained in the core of each of us; it is in reaching in and pulling out love. Love that does not see what divides, but what pulls together.
Kelly Balarie is a“Cheerleader of Faith.” She cheers hearts to courage, beginning with her own. She also is a resolute fighter of fear. When she falls, she gets up, bruises and all, to figure out God’s leading. She listens. She writes. She speaks. She entrusts God to bless others with the small learnings she has gathered. Most of all, her dream is that God wraps hurting hearts, her own included, with his abundant love, grace and mercy. She gets enthused about this kind of thing. Join Kelly on her blog, Purposeful Faith, on Twitter and on Facebook.
Looking forward, pressing on, seeking God.