Different Is Worth A Second Look

When I was a kid, toys didn’t talk (except Chatty Cathy, and she was just weird), light up (unless you were playing with your folks’ flashlight), or move (without help from me). We were in a world of our creation. Imagination drove play.

Any noise came from make-believe. Screaming pirates where we’d attack each other with plastic swords swung with purpose. Tea parties where the conversation was patterned after adult talk–and never sounded adult.

Toys morph with technology. Today, you need hand/eye coordination to play video games–without any other movement from the rest of the body. Sound effects are created by the toy–very real, often surprising. The focus is singular and intense, rather than roaming and broad.

Mom used to tell me my kids lacked imagination because what they played supplied all the fun without any creativity.

I disagree.

Everything changes with time.

Attitudes, however, often stubbornly remain the same.

We were babysitting a few of the grands, and I was fascinated by how they played with a ball John had ordered online. It vibrated, made loud noises that were quite indiscernible, and had flashing lights that gave me a bit of a headache.

Is that combination good for anybody?

My dear husband is quite intrigued by novelty toys to entertain the kids. He’s bought small rubber-band propelled rockets that light up as they’re shot into the sky. A sheep that moves and sings Christmas songs that scares the bejeebers out of one-year-old Cal.

His perspective is that different is fun. Not something to be overwhelmed by or afraid of. Embrace it. Try it. It’s an opportunity to discover the wonderful possibilities outside our tiny experiential framework.

There is a bigger picture we often miss.

God sees it clearly.

He created us all in His image–whether we acknowledge Him or not–with giftings and stories that we didn’t ask for. Those things that make each of us unique and special. Those pieces of talent and story that set us apart.

The challenge? We live in a world culturally that identifies what’s acceptable based on random algorithms that can’t identify character or integrity. Where unsustainable standards are set by those who themselves don’t fit perfectly.

We all manage images that we can’t live up to.

God has gifted each of us with a story. For some, difficulty living in a majority culture that doesn’t appreciate different is a reality. For others, fitting in with quirks and challenges that aren’t valued by others demands courage most of us will never know.

If we limit acceptability to what we feel comfortable with, we lose an opportunity to appreciate what everyone has to offer us. To grow individually with what we can learn from others.

God’s standard is His offer of grace and forgiveness to anyone who will receive it. He doesn’t look at economic status, race, religion, appearance or productivity.

He sees hearts that yearn for a relationship with Him.

Total acceptance.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could accept all people with the grace we long to have extended to us?

You can’t buy that hope online.



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