Ever seen a stained glass window before?

It’s a pretty sight to see.

Beautiful, intricately detailed, ornate patterns adorn these windows. I’ve seen a few in some historic churches and museums, and they have a way of adding elegance to just about any space or room they occupy. But, for all of their stylishness and sophistication, stained glass windows…well…don’t make very good windows.

Sure, you can see what you want to see from the end you’re looking thru…but only looking thru your end doesn’t give you a clear view of what’s on the other side.

I’d say that last sentence pretty much describes the socio-political climate of our nation, now. It seems to me that the majority of us, on either side of today’s most divisive issues, are looking thru stained glass windows.

We’re captivated by the beauty of our own viewpoint, our own perspective, our own opinion, our own interpretation…in essence, our own side of the window. Things look so good from our end that we simply dismiss whatever is on the other side. No need to look any further as long as I’m seeing what I want to see…right?

And because I’m not interested in having a clear picture of what’s on the other side, I’m free to make whatever generalizations about it that I want…regardless of whether they’re actually true or not.

For example.

Many supporters of Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest are quick to label anybody who disagrees with them as racist, backwards, and bigoted.

Many opposers of the aforementioned protest are just as quick to write off any dissenters as unpatriotic and disrespectful.

Many in favor of tearing down certain monuments claim that any opposers to their viewpoint are closet racists who want to keep minorities oppressed.

Many who don’t think the aforementioned monuments should be torn down claim that anyone who demands their destruction is just unwilling to let go of the past.

Many who support #blacklivesmatter view any critics of the movement as miseducated and unwilling to understand it…and basically blinded by their privilege.

Many who oppose #blacklivesmatter view anyone within the movement as self-centered and only concerned about the lives of one group of people.

Many who are…(deep sigh)…avid supporters of our President view any opposing voices as whiny liberals.

Many who diametrically oppose the President see anybody who voted for him as being a groupie who thinks he can do no wrong.

I hope you see my point, here.

It’s not that there aren’t any people who fit the descriptions I mentioned above. It’s just not accurate…or fair…to paint everybody on the other side of your window with the same brush. If we continue to view others this way, then how will we ever go forward as a nation?

I know stained glass windows are pretty…but I’m really praying that we all ditch them…and see others as we would want to be seen. Easier said than done.

But Jesus can help.

 

 

Written by Wayne

Wayne is a husband, father, avid reader and writer, and youth minister who happens to believe that Jesus is central to every aspect of life…the individual, family, society, government, philosophy, the arts…and everything in between.

He’s committed to challenging preconceived notions about what it means to follow Jesus, and seeks to engage the culture instead of running from it.

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