March 2, 2015

The Dress

Did you see the internet sensation showing a dress, the colors of which differ simply depending on who is looking at it? It is fun and a little amazing. The first thing I noticed about this phenomenon is that when you talk about it abstractly with folks it is a mild scientific/neurological discussion; but when you are in the same room staring at the computer or tv three feet apart from someone, it is starkly apparent that you see things very differently and things become more intense and mind boggling.

Whatever its cause it drives home the point once again of how each one of us sees and experiences the world so differently from inside our own skins. Many issues come to mind: Ferguson, global warming, the economic recovery.  It reminded me how important it is to keep this in mind when trying to forge a society or world where its patently obvious that "we are in this together", and thus the need for humility, even as we work for understanding, acceptance, and change.

I guess the old saying that "all great minds think alike" was never really that accurate.  Indeed our differences may be a great unrecognized gift. You can think about this on a global big issue scale; of learning to live with folks of drastically different cultures, religions, and backgrounds. You can think of this on a personal level; as we daily interact with family, spouses, friends and coworkers, and take more time to listen, not lash out, and to reason together. (What did business guru Steve Covey used to say: first take time to understand before trying to be understood.)

But I thought too about this in terms of faith; taking time to realize that God also often looks at things differently than we do. You might even say that we come to church each Sunday to try to understand God's point of view. Early in the gospels at the beginning of Jesus' ministry on several occasions he hears God calling him "beloved". That's always God's first word to us too. Take a moment and say it out loud to yourself. There is probably a lot we can learn if we think about how God sees "The Dress"; as well as, of course, how God sees your life, others and our world from a "beloved" perspective.



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