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“Act like that and no one will like you.  You won’t have any friends.”

I have absolutely no clue what I did to prompt my mother to say this.  I just don’t remember.  But I do recall her saying it to me on more than one occasion.  I suspect it had something to do with my blunt honesty.  I can occasionally pull off the social lie but more often than not, they come out transparent.  Instead, I’ve had to learn to say something true if somewhat misleading.

“I’ve never seen a dress like that before.  Where did you find something so unique?”

“What a beautiful color.  You have such a strong sense of style.”

I may not like what the person is wearing but I’m going to sidestep telling them that.  Not to worry – if your blouse is unbuttoned or your pants unzipped, I will tell you.  I’m not trying to set anyone up for embarrassment.

Fortunately, my mother’s predictions were slightly off.  No, not everyone appreciates my candor but I am wildly popular with my friend’s autistic son.  “I’m going to go find Sue.  She’ll tell me the truth.”  But that’s okay because I can trust him to tell me the truth when I ask for some of his popcorn at the movies.  “You need to go get your own.”  No resentful sharing that will come back to haunt me with this child.  I actually find him refreshing. We are, after all, birds of a feather.

God gave us each a unique set of traits.  My friend’s son and I are bluntly honest and love super hero movies.  That said, he cannot abide coconut or spicy foods, both of which I love.  Sour snacks? Those we share.

What?  You have a different opinion? That’s okay.  We are all God’s children, quirky though we may be.

–SueBE

 

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I love this quote.  Love it.

For me it serves as a reminder that too much of any good trait can become a bad trait.  I am direct.  Often painfully so.  I suspect that it comes from growing up around women who took forever to get to the point.  What do you want me to do?  Just tell me!

As a result of dodging the passive aggressive card, I often “cut to the chase.”  I have been told that I am occasionally intimidating.  Somewhere there has to be middle ground but I have yet to find it.

I suspect that the answer lies in love.  See those around me as God’s children just like me.  See his spark lighting them from within.  Remember that they may not be doing it my way, but that’s okay.  No one said my way was the only way.  It is simply another way to do it.

Hmm.  That might work.  “Here’s another way we could do it…”  “Here’s something I think we should try…”

–SueBE

It would be so easy to read this quote and think, “Aha.  She’s a Dem and she’s commenting on the whole situation at the border.”  And the funny thing is that you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

I am a Dem.  I have incredibly strong opinions about what is going on at our Southern border.  I’ve shared those opinions with our state Senator – the one that is running for reelection.  He’s a Republican and we disagree about 97% of the time so I could have let him have it.

Instead I started out my letter by wishing him a happy Father’s Day and thanking him for all the time and energy who puts into his job.  Like my grandmother always said, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  If I didn’t back down, next would be ‘keep a civil tongue in your head.’

G-ma would definitely have agreed with Lori.  We are so caught up in making sure that people know, in minute detail, what we think, that we are leaving Christ and his love behind.  We go on and on about the fact that there are no compromises anymore, people stick with their party.

But we also forget that we are just as guilty when it comes to the name calling.  Conservative.  Republican.  Liberal.  Fool.  Whatever term we use, the contempt comes through loud and clear.

Why not try something new?  Don’t just have compassion for whoever you think is being ignored – immigrants, the American worker, or whoever.  Try to see into the heart of the person you are disagreeing with.  We are all God’s children and he probably wouldn’t mind if we all tried to remember that.

Compassion and kindness.  Honey and civility.

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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