This week was my youngest daughter’s gotcha day. A gotcha day is when the adoption becomes final. Life is strange I never thought I would adopt or that I would travel to China to do so. But I did. Twice. Dorothy the aforementioned arrived and I held her in my hands for the first time twelve years ago on my birthday. It was the best birthday present ever. I anticipate getting use out of it for the rest of my life.
I have a reason for telling you all this. The reason is the greatest things come into my life when I am willing to accept and celebrate. The first short story included in this blog was about JJ a transgender youth who for a short period of time I knew her called me DAD. She did it to torture and make me uncomfortable but in the end I grew to like it and grew to celebrate such a young vibrant life.
I have been blessed to live a life that early on put me in the throes of the unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I am a white, heterosexual, middle class, marine brat, from the Deep S outh. But I have lived with and called friends homeless men and women, inner-city youth, gays, mentally ill, transgender, artistes, prostitutes, drug dealers, addicts, preachers, soldiers, Muslims, Baptists. Unitarians Universalists and much more. And from each I have learned and enjoyed.
So I puzzle when people who proudly proclaim their Christian heritage find accepting others so hard. Their faith is built on the concept of how we treat the stranger or the other. Jesus even once proclaimed to accept others like yourself does not mean much. Even the pagan Gentiles do this. Love your enemies and others as yourself. I have to conclude those who cannot accept or love enemies or others who are not like themselves are not very good Christians. That is if they are Christian at all. Many will call out my name in the last days but few will know me Jesus said.
There are three stages in which to deal with diversity of life. To tolerate differences. Tolerate is only a breath away from warring with each other. I tolerate you but if you stretch the dimensions of the relationship I make no guarantees. Acceptance which I agree you can be at the table but I do not necessary have to feed you. And the final is Celebration of the different things you bring and who you are. Most so called religious folk can barely tolerate others. They have trouble in their own faiths with getting along. So strangers beware.
War always starts with hate, envy, or the lack of a seat at the table for some. So I suggest that to prevent war we learn to celebrate everyone and everything. I can hardly wait to see the Olympic-like celebrations that will happen.