There have been times in my life when I’ve done a better job of releasing stereotypes and presuppositions. One such time was when I first began with RISE and started to understand the importance of story. I realized that each person has a unique, tragic, wonderful story and that we all are part of God’s grand story. During that period in life I could walk down the street and see someone and my first thought was always, “What’s that person’s story?”
Since that time I’ve become a bit more cynical and busy and self-focused and have l greatly lost that skill. Thankfully, I believe this experience in Denver has helped to reshape me toward a stance of wonder, grace and embrace. I’ve encountered so many people here who challenge the status quo and look really different from what most people consider “normal.”
I’ve had the opportunity to hear a lot of stories and thus wonder about the stories of those who receive lunches, those who show up to the bar, those who walk through town in their suits and those who won’t ever look me in the eye.
I believe I can reduce the presuppositions and incorrect/negative attitudes I have toward others by attempting to remember their divine imprints, their God-breathed goodness. I need to remind myself that the person I see has hopes and dreams and short-comings and an intricate story that has caused her/him to be right here, right now.
I don’t need to find commonality with each person right from the beginning, but I must realize our common humanity and common God-ness and common need to be heard, loved, and respected. With such a stance, I believe I can release presuppositions and stereotypes and be better prepared to listen and love and care.