I grew up in New York State and spent an OK amount of time in The City. Not tons of time. I don’t like The City that much. It’s like an anthill–too much movement, too much activity, too much noise, and work, and anonymity. There is no identity, just movement, flashes of clothing and clips of accent. There is no story, there are no eyes.
I was sitting on the steps of a library in Queens. There was a Christian group across the street passing out tracts and engaging people in conversation. A man sat next to me, lounging on the steps all decked out in gold fabric. He was watching the Christian group with an attitude of frustration, not hostility, just frustration. His turban was orange and purple and his beard tumbled over his chest. His eyes were bright green. “I am a Muslim.” he said and began telling me about his beliefs and his life in Afghanistan before he came to New York. “I am a Christian.” I said, a little reluctant to identify with the group across the street. I asked him more about Afghanistan and his family. We just made small talk for a while. He continued to scrutinize the group across the street. He had to leave. He said it was nice to meet me and to remember, “We’re all people.”
We’re all people. I brushed off the encounter and frankly forgot about it while dealing with the Subway transportation back to where I was staying. It really didn’t even cross my mind again until lately. I’ve been getting to know Jesus better and better. Getting to understand His attitudes and how He dealt with people, how He loved them. I’ve also been working with teenagers and realizing that one of the biggest problems with people is that we fail to realize that our friends, relatives, and enemies all have the same depth of feeling and story as we do. We’re all people. I am not the only person.
We are all people. We are all made in the image of God. We all have hopes and dreams and feelings and stories and insecurities. Jesus saw people this way.