It is that time of day.
The daylight is fading fast…night hasn’t taken over yet. Dusk, I think it’s called. I’m in traffic. Driving home like hundreds of people around me. Most of us are not real happy to be crawling so slowly down the road…we’re always in a hurry to get home. It’s human nature I guess.
I glance at homes as I drive by them. At this time of the evening, the windows glow yellow and orange. Night is coming on fast- even though it’s not yet five o’clock. Moms and dads pull in their driveways…garage doors open. Children finish up homework…watch TV. Dogs get fed, dinners get cooked. Some gather as families tonight; they will watch a movie, or go to a school play later. Some will come home alone…to an empty apartment, or an empty house, way too big for one person. There used to be more here. More people…more noise…more mess. Now the house is clean, and empty, and big.
Someone will meet someone for a drink- not going home yet. Some will meet for dinner. Some are away on business trips. Some are just away. But most are going home. It’s where we go at the end of the day. It’s where we are safe. It’s where we find comfort. It’s our space. We have made it our own. It’s a part of us. It’s home.
We are the same, we humans. We have the same desires, the same needs, the same hopes, the same dreams. And we all feel pain. We hurt…all too often. We all bleed red, as the song says. None of us are more favored than another. None of us are more loved than another. None of us pleases God more than another. We are all the same. We all try to do the best we can; for the most part. And, yes, we all stumble along the way. We each long to be loved- to be liked, even. We long to be forgiven when we make mistakes. We try to be patient and gracious and kind to each other- and we hope for the same in return. We are all alike in that regard.
As I look around I see a lot of folks who are very different from me. Different color; different age; different size; different ethnicity; different cultural biases. In fact, everyone is different in some way or another. It’s easy to see them through the lens of suspicion…of doubt…of judgement. We tend to gravitate toward others who are like us. It’s like we need that affirmation- we need someone telling us we are ok. We need someone telling us we are right. We need so to be right.
But as I drift through the autumn of my life, I am hoping I can grow beyond that. I’m hoping that I can learn to not have to be right. I’m hoping that my need to be right doesn’t have to come at the expense of you being wrong. That notion must change. It simply must. We cannot coexist in an environment that adopts the posture that my way is right and all the others are wrong. The way I think is right. The way I believe is right. The way I live is right. The way I worship is right. The way I raise my children is right. And the other ways…your ways…are wrong. No. That attitude is wrong. It has to be wrong.
I know it’s wrong because I can look around and see that we are all the same. We are. Even though we have all come from different places, we are all the same. Some of us had plenty; slept on satin sheets as a child. Some of us had few choices in life as we grew into adults. Some of us barely got by- helping a single parent cope with the harsh realities of getting by week to week. Some came from strong, stable families full of love. Some were born in third world countries where survival was not a given. But we are all the same; inside, where it really matters. And all we want at the end of the day is a little comfort; a little peace; a little safety. Some happiness, even? All we want at the end of the day is to know that we lived the best we could today.
Look around. I think we know in our gut that we are all the same.
And we really just want to go home.