Who has not looked at clouds and seen shapes, dragons, spaceships, incoming rain, promises of sunshine? The worst thing is when someone says “no that’s not right”. It is your imagination seeing the things. You know they are just clouds but are enjoying what you are picture.
I was thinking about both Respect and Unconditional Love and thinking they can look different to each one of us. I don’t think there is a one size fits all of respect or unconditional love.
I was walking with someone this morning who is struggling with something and I felt I had got the handle on it, but just as I was going to say my bit she said how hurt she’d been about people telling her why they thought she was dealing with this. I closed my mouth and listened to her. I did not say these friends of hers were wrong. I did not say they were right. I did listen and say that her feelings were her feelings. I gave her the respect she needed at that moment in time. Perhaps I could say I did not feel respected because I didn’t have my rant but actually that would not have been kind and helpful to her.
Perhaps Respect and Unconditional Love come when we lay aside our needs and wants and listen to the other person. Perhaps if we believed we were loved unconditionally by God, by the Universe, by something more than us, then we could let go of our needs and allow others to feel respect, to feel really loved.
How will this work with those who are striking? Who are asking for more money but who say they feel their jobs are not being respected, are not the caring jobs they signed up for? Money is not the answer if they are still expected to work in the conditions they are working in. Those in government, those in management, those with power, need to bend a bit, show these people they are important to the workings of this land.
I wonder if those in power, in government, in management, also do not feel respects, do not feel unconditionally love. How often does the media run down the government? With the latest words for the Prime Minister all that followed was complaints and criticisms. How would we all have felt if we put forward an idea and got it slated? But then those lower down do not feel respected.
So how do we change? One of the things that strikes me with the Lord’s Prayer – which I don’t think was meant to be read parrot fashion but was a serious of ideas we should be looking at – in “thy kingdom come, thy will be done” that this means us. You and me. For that to happen we need to be giving respect, giving unconditional love, listening and respecting the person we are with at the time, caring for our planet, our world. Caring firstly for those nearest to us.
If each of us showed respect to the person we met and then they showed respect to the next person they met and so and so forth, but the end of the day so many people would feel better about themselves, and I think towards each other. I don’t think it is about “making people Christians” but is about showing unconditional love, showing respect.
You know Jesus never told anyone to convert. He did tell them to change their lifestyles but he also showed them respect, unconditional love, and told them that the Kingdom of God, that true place of peace and deep joy, was nearer than they thought, was actually deep inside of them, but sometimes they just needed to let it out. And letting it out comes, I think, knowing our self-worth comes from within not without, that we are loved by something so much bigger than ourselves and that we have nothing to lose by being nice to others.
So today I will try to believe I am loved and respect and pass that on to others. That I really do not have anything to lose by being kind.