Okay, you get the idea. There are stories upon stories in each picture we see.
And there are stories upon stories in each person we meet. There is a story about why they dress as they do. There is a story about why they act as they do. There is a story about why they believe as they do.
I'm reading a book called the vinedresser's notebook by judith sutera. It is filled with notes and drawings from a person who worked in a vineyard. Plus, there are spiritual application essays about vinedressing and our spiritual lives. It is all based on John 15 where Jesus calls Himself the Vine and we are the branches.
Sutera writes, "Like trees, people are marked by the formative events in their lives too. When we meet someone, we encounter what that person has become as a result of all that has come before . . . Sometimes with people, as with a vine, we can see the scars where something has been cut off, where there has been a pruning. All we can see, however, is the scar. We don't know how they were damaged or what the missing parts looked like or why they had to be cut away. Fears and insecurities, losses and pain, and the behaviors that do not serve us well -- all of these are signs of our past wounds . . . Appearances can be quite deceiving, so I have to assume that there is much more to a person than meets the eye. I have to assume, too, that the parts of you that I do not see have value and goodness and potential."
St. Benedict's rule was to "welcome everyone as Christ."
November has begun and with November comes the holiday season. Thanksgiving is just 26 days away. The holiday time is a time of great joy and great sorrow for people.
Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling, "You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you. Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with (Jesus), you achieve a victory."
St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Or do you not know . . . that you are not your own?"
I wrote in my journal this morning, "When I get distracted in trying to do it (it can be anything) the world's way I am wrong, I get off track.
"What we always have to remember when making choices is that the fruit does grow close to the trunk. We can't get too distracted and begin to trail in various directions. Focusing on who we are (in Christ) rather than what we do will put life in a clearer perspective . . . We are to be about the harvest and not the foliage . . . We are what we think about. If we let go of what is not spiritual, we will be slowly but surely transformed." judith sutera
Listen to people's stories. The listening comes through careful observation, spending time with people and really listening to what they say and don't say. This is love.