I grew up with a grandmother who loved bird watching. Her favorite birds were cardinals and that was good, because those were easy for me to pick out (at least the brightly colored males). Other than cardinals, though, all birds sort of looked (and sounded) the same to me.
Fast forward many years and now we have a child who absolutely loves birds. Because of my grandmother’s introduction and taking an interest in our child’s hobby, I now can’t help but see all the uniqueness in each of the different birds.
Even when they are flying, I can point out an oriole, indigo bunting, red-winged blackbirds, heron, muted swan, Canada goose, and the list goes on. I also now am experienced enough to hear the differences in the birds songs. By far, the mourning dove and chickadee’s songs are two of my favorites.
God showed me my experience with birds can be similar to how we see and view people. Instead of allowing ourselves to “clump groups together” (and I don’t just mean putting people in cultural or racial groups – this can extend to differentiating people according to their political beliefs, religious beliefs, etc.), what if truly took the time to see individuals for who they are .. individually?
Just as I cannot go back to seeing a bird as “just a bird,” may I never see a person as “just a …” May I always see people as the unique, beautiful individuals God created them to be, always pointing them back to the God who created them and loves them unconditionally also.
What about you? What’s your experience?