"The easiest thing to do is throw a rock. It's a lot harder to create a stained glass window."...Jon Foreman, Switchfoot
Straw men garner all our attention. Easier to argue with the label on the lapel than the flesh and bone man inside it. Christian, gay, liberal, Nazi, white, black, homeless we categorize each other. Blind to the Imago Dei; the image of God in you I see myself as a little god and strip you of your humanity. No matter who you are. No matter what you say. Both the transient and the man living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
I have more rules about people than Seinfeld. I judge on the image presented instead of image innate. Seeing all people as image bearers means constant reorienting. My prejudice submits. I consider you more important than myself. When we disagree I don’t call you names. I seek to understand your point of view.
Baptist theologian James Leo Garrett offered a good rule of thumb: “Until you can state your opponent’s view so well that he himself says, `Yes, that’s what I believe,’ you aren’t ready to debate him.” That takes work and a willingness to listen. More difficult still a willingness to change, or adjust, your view. Its easier to mouth mantras spoon fed to us. Having a different view doesn’t make you less human.
Where to begin? The people across the street with the ‘vote no’ on my yes issue? The coworker that baits me with political talk? The unfortunate that I exchange nods with down by the river? It starts where I live. Extends to wherever I go. All people are created in God's image. There’s a parable like that. Turns out everybody’s my neighbor.