“There can be no peacemaking or social work or anything else to improve our world unless we are convinced that the other is important.” Jean Vanier.
One person who sees the value in another can alter that person’s life. I would like to be that person to someone just as I have needed someone like that in my life. The truth I sometimes face is that valuing others can feel risky. How do I view other people with value and overcome the darker urge to one up them? If I lift others up, does that mean I’m putting myself down? What if my service to others is really about needing to be a Savior to someone?
“How hard it is for people to live without someone to look down upon- really look down upon. It is not just that they feel cheated out of someone to hate. It is that they are compelled to look more closely into themselves and what they don’t like in themselves.” Martin Luther King Jr.
The walls of our world are most often created by a fear that someone else’s success or prosperity is a threat to mine. The competitive drive that motivates so much of modern society is based upon this self protective insecurity. The divisions in our world between rich and poor, good and bad, powerful and powerless, result is broken relationship and distrust. The end game becomes, get more power than the next guy.
Behind the falsehood, what we so often dread deep within, is the feeling that we are of no value or that we are not loved.
“When you look at all these kinds of fear, the common denominator is the fear of being pushed down or being seen as valueless or non existent. “ Jean Vanier
The antidote to fear is to grow in the understand and experience of the love of God. Being secure in the knowledge of God as lover of my soul, overcomes the worry and strain of working at being worthy. Then our living is free and our love is genuine. As God fills our emptiness with his abundance of love and grace, we are able to risk loving and valuing others.
……..that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3: 18,19