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September 10, 2020, 4:00 PM

I've been thinking...

I’ve been thinking that it seems the more people demand inclusion, the more we are dividing. Maybe it’s just me, though I’m seeing more and more people picking sides and refusing to budge. As a Christian, my dream is that we live into the will of God, that we see the world God has planned for us, and we reach out and accept it with all our heart, mind, soul, and being. This world that God has planned for us, requires each one of us to be humble, to submit to one another in humility, knowing that we are just as important as they are and that our very beings are of the same worth.

There are many people clamoring to be heard, to be loved, to be seen, to feel wanted and needed. It doesn’t matter what your political leaning is, your skin color, your degree of physical ability, your mental health status, your ethnicity, or any of the other things we use to segregate and divide society by because we all have this same thing deep down. In the book study Gary Burns is leading, we are discussing how we approach one another, with a heart of peace or a heart of war. I can’t explain the book in this short column, though I can say this, it’s making me think more about how I am entering into conversations with my friends and family when it comes to how we are dividing ourselves up. The key element I see so far is my willingness to be vulnerable and admit that I might not know it all, and or be wrong about something.

I personally want to be on the right side of things, but I don’t always know if that’s the case. But I do know that if I take a moment and consider the possibility that I might be wrong and the other person is right, our whole conversation could go in a different direction. We might even be able to find a way to be on the same side. I’m saying all this because I’ve been thinking about what it really means to be inclusive. Does being inclusive mean we must all think and act the same? What does it look like to be inclusive? How do we know we are being inclusive or exclusive? What are we changing about our own behavior and beliefs to allow someone else into our circle? So many questions – I hope you can help me sort them out!

Pastor Carrie Bland

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