In our “Page-A-Day” calendar, there is a monthly ‘Gratefulness Practice’ page.
For the month of May, we have this-'A Different Lens':
Seek out the perspectives of those who can expand your worldview.
Explore conversations with, and offerings from, those who differ with you in politics, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, income, etc.
Search for voices in your community, as well as authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and even news-anchors.
Open up to the perspectives of others with humility, with intent to listen deeply, and learn.
This week, I have found myself reflecting on 30+ years of ordained ministry, (tacked onto my 16 years in municipal administration). With those reflections, I read those words from ‘Gratefulness Practice’: to seek out the perspectives of others.
My first response is I: have seldom found myself having to seek out those who have different perspectives.
Engaging with those who live with different perspectives has been a welcome presence in my life. I treasure the growth in my personal life, when I have allowed myself to listen deeply, and learn.
Over these many years, I am grateful for my personal growth and development.
I have been challenged to go in directions which, at one time, I may have doubted I would ever venture.
Then, to reflect on the gift of those journeys. To see life through another person’s eyes is a real gift, if you are willing to live, and hear their perspective.
Many individuals, and events, come to mind. ‘Time and space on paper prevent’ me from sharing all.
Then, there were 2 clergy—fresh out of seminary—Reverend Art Bell, and Reverend Graeme Brownlee. (I had the benefit of these two young theologians-as-ministers at significant junctures in my life.)
This past week, we witnessed the presence of Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, (some in attendance, while the rest of us watched from afar) as he visited on Cree Nations, in Northern Saskatchewan.
We have observed the Archbishop listening—with focus and intent.
We have listened, as those present shared the inner experience of those visits on their personal lives.
I am grateful for this opportunity to have listened this week, even though from a distance.
For I know, we have all been challenged in our perspectives, and those perspectives have been changed.
May we all continue to listen deeply, and learn from life’s experience.
Blessings in Christ,