I have always been a bit of a klutz. Mrs. Lisa might be disappointed to know that all those years of dance didn’t carry over into my every day life. I’ve often been accused of having poor depth perception. I get in a rush, cut corners and stub my toe. Or I’ll have an armload of groceries and feel so sure that I can still squeeze through the door only to smack straight into the door jam and nearly topple over backwards off the porch. Grace, is not my middle name.
As I thought about this particular problem, I realized that my inability to gauge the depth I am working with is connected directly to my need to rush. If I would take the time to assess the situation, looking at the logistics if you will, then I would likely save myself from a bloody toe, busted backside and a plethora of multi-colored bruises.
With this same mindset, I wondered if I have ever been guilty of undervaluing a person’s depth. It didn’t take me long to realize the answer would be a resounding yes.
You know that when we look at another person, we are getting just a glimpse into who they are. We see what they want us to see. We then make our judgments as to what kind of person they are and how “deep” they may be.
In my recent self-reflection, I found that I am far more complex than I would ever have admitted to myself, much less anyone else. It also afforded me the opportunity to discover much of the same about others.
You, like me, probably prefer to think of yourself as being non-judgmental, but on some level, we all are. We form our opinions of others based on what we think we know.
So-and-so never speaks up during meetings, prayer times, etc so they must not care about what’s being discussed.
I have never seen Jack or Jill shed a tear, they are so insensitive.
He/She always walks around with that tough, I-could-care-less expression on their face, they could never understand what I’m going through.
Then something happens and you are placed in a position to find just how wrong you were about that person. It may be they suddenly pour their heart out in a small group, bible study or some other intimate, more personal environment and you see them in a whole other light. Perhaps they hear through the grapevine (also known as the gossip chain) that you have been through the exact same struggle they are currently faced with so seemingly out of nowhere, they seek your counsel. The parallels in your lives remove barriers that you never knew were there!
It is my desire to know the people the Lord places in my path on a deeper level. I don’t want to fall in the habit of believing the facade that is presented is all that there is to any one individual. In order for others to feel comfortable with allowing us to see their depth, we must first be willing to let ours show. The sooner we drop our preconceived notions about one another, the quicker we can develop real, meaningful connections that will lead to spiritual and emotional growth.
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
(Ecclesiastes 4: 9, 10 & 12 The Message)
Maybe it’s time we take a look at how we measure one another’s depth so that we can create bonds which are not easily broken. When we take the time to properly gauge situations, we can navigate “sharp corners & tight doorways” with ease.