Describe Yourself

Describe Yourself

By Pr. Rhoda Klein Miller 

Describe yourself in one word. What was the first word that came to mind? Is it the same word you would share out loud? Is it an identifier that comes from within or one you hear most often when others refer to you? My labels I’m most aware of lately are “white” and “woman.” I hold no pride in those qualities which are beyond my control. I’m more proud of the qualities I choose to value, the aspects Jesus has transformed. But you won’t see that at first glance. I know people are formulating assumptions about me based on superficial assessment, just as I am guilty of making erroneous first impressions too. When I first met Allen in person we took a drive through the mountains and were sharing the armrest between our seats. I noticed his smooth brown skin was hairless and my pale skin looked furry in comparison. I thought “there is no future in this relationship.” I felt ugly and unfeminine. But with some reflection I realized that was my hang-up not his. I’m glad God convinced me to give him a second chance. I believe this is part of our spiritual battle. The Enemy plants lies, deceptive assumptions about each other in our minds and there’s a strong temptation to dismiss, categorize, essentially dehumanize someone in one look, one thought. Instead God asks us to lean in, invest, give the benefit of the doubt, and do the hard work of understanding so that we may be known as compassionate, caring and “Christian.”

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