Two men sat crossed-legged at the side of a road. The younger man looked up, he felt confusion building in him between what he was seeing, what he had learnt and what he felt in his heart, he quickly decided to interrupt the man sat beside him. He had seen a group of tired looking strangers approaching in the distance, so the younger one turned to his wiser elder and asked a series of questions.
‘Master, what type of men are these? How should I treat them? They look different. Is it our responsibility to be hospitable to all strangers or just those we feel comfortable with?’
The elder raised his head – for he had been meditating quietly, then he peered into the distance for a few minutes to observe the people walking towards them, then turned and said ...
‘They are Jamaicans; you know what they’re like.’
‘They are white. I know they are dangerous people.’
‘They are poor. Not our type at all.’
‘They are conservatives. They’ll do anything.’
‘They are untouchables. Keep away from them’
‘They are Christians. Hypocritical do-gooders – steer clear.’
‘They are working class. Don’t mix with them.’
‘They are Scottish. They are mean.’
‘They are Asian. Not our sort. So competitive.’
When the thirsty and tired group reached the two men they were met with silence. After a brief time, the group sighed and passed by. Their steps seemed heavier as they walked away. The two seated men left their silent meditation after a minute to look along the road at the fading shapes. The younger one shifted uncomfortably on his seat that also doubled as a well cover. But reasoned he had to listen to the ancient wisdom of his elder.
“Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” Romans 13 v 8
Love does not see difference, love sees similarities: love sees love.