I don't have much left in this day in terms to time in order to meet my daily writing commitment, so I'm winging through it today.
A whole bunch of experiences today have reminded me of one of the big lessons I learned when I lived in Japan (and came out the other side as it were through a purgatorial meat grinder). And the lesson is this: relative to the might and grandeur of God, all human beings are pretty much like grains of sand. We find ourselves so amazingly different one from another, and we can develop jealousies and insecurities or self-hatred based on who we think we should be. But really, when you zoom out with the macroscopic lens, we are all basically the same.
And this is meant to be a reassuring, humbling, and peace-making thought.
This is what allowed me to come back from Japan and trip and fall into a job working for a very well-known person (in Catholic circles) and not treat him like he was anything other than my brother in the Lord and a normal person. I think it is also what has taught me to have respect for people I once would either have looked down upon or been afraid of. I, you, they, we are all equal in our need, our humanity, our propensity for greatness and holiness, and our propensity for sin and evil.
And my thought goes back again to that theme from my retreat this year: we all tend to spend energy on covering up our miseries and the things that cause us to desperately need God's mercy. Or just the things that make us uncomfortable, that make us feel like weirdos, so different. I had so many people tell me this sort of thing this week, including myself. Next time I'll say "yeah, you're so different, just like everyone else!" As long as we have the Lord, there need be no fear in how we appear to other people. We might have problems, but we are all works in progress. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ purifies us from every sin" (1 Jn. 1:7)