May I know their names.

One of the things I’ve realized this year is how our society is growing more and more segregated. In our neighborhoods, work, schools, and churches it is common to have a single demographic disproportionately represented. We can easily spend 90% of our time with people who see the world very similarly.

And so we might talk about poor people or rich people without really knowing any. We might talk about refugees without having ever had a friendship with one. We might even discount the validity of race issues or privilege or global warming. Of course, this is a huge generalization, but I’ve seen it true all too often in my own life. 

Over the last year, God has placed this as a burden on my heart. My prayer has become, “Lord, help me make friends and learn from people different than me.” Not “poor people,” not “immigrants,” not “the hurting,” “the helpless,” “the voiceless.” May I know their names. May we become friends. May I be humble enough to hear their point of view, and learn from it. May I not assume that a lack of physical resources, language proficiency, or anything else indicates they are “needy” of what I can offer. I want to live generously, and may that include my attitude towards those I do not immediately understand.

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