I like to say I grew up on the back of a motorcycle. My dad and his stepdad owned matching Suzukis and enjoyed weekend rides in the mountains of northwest Arkansas. I often went with them. We would leave in the early hours before the sun rose high enough to bake both pavement and shoulders. I’d wrap my arms around my daddy’s waist and a bungee cord around mine, secured to the backrest in case I started to nod off on those sleepy Saturday mornings.
It always fascinated me that whenever we’d pass motorcycles coming toward us — usually people we did not know — my dad and the other drivers waved low to each other, a gesture that implied more than a simple hello. It communicated not only acceptance and camaraderie but also an unspoken message: you are one of my people.
When we rode that motorcycle we were part of something bigger, a special club, if linked by nothing more than our chosen mode of transportation. It was a bond which transcended socioeconomic, age, and racial lines.
Last weekend I once again witnessed that old, familiar wave between two motorcyclists, and I couldn’t help but wonder: what if the rest of us accepted each other so readily, without analysis or hesitation? Can you even imagine it?
We have homeschooled our kids for over 20 years, and yet my kids still make jokes about homeschoolers. “Why do you turn on your own demographic? Don’t you know these are your people?” I ask. Often they don’t see it. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones. Most of us are guilty of this in some area of our lives. But what might it look like if we changed?
What if we, as Christians, celebrated our shared love of Christ rather than judge each other or denounce other denominations?
What if mothers supported and encouraged one another instead of criticizing those who educate or discipline their children differently or make different choices regarding work or family size?
What if we quit unfriending people online based on their political views and took a moment to remember why we connected in the first place?
What if we no longer allow age to be a barrier to friendships with other women, viewing older women as sources of wisdom (rather than assuming they can no longer relate to our struggles) and looking for opportunities to mentor younger women (rather than assuming they don’t want our help)?
What if we quit assuming we know other people’s intentions?
What if we expect the best from people and stop looking for ways to be offended? As the Avett Brothers sing, “Got a whole lot of reasons to be mad, let’s not pick one.”
What if we quit trying to keep up with the Joneses and instead invite them over for supper?
Why do we believe differences create attraction in love but only sameness can bring us together as friends?
We can have many external differences but share a foundational love for God, His principles, and His people. We must view our relationships through a special filter — the way Jesus sees us — to embrace the differences we all have and not judge a person by their outward appearance.
” . . . for the Lord seeth not as man seeth;
for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)
What we have in common — our sisterhood in Christ — is stronger than any earthly differences.
Michele Morin says
How is it possible that my kids do the same labeling and libeling of their fellow home schooled tribe? And when our St. Bernard is overbearing and a little-too-friendly, they excuse him because he’s a “home schooled dog.”
I love it when we gather around truth in this space and find courage to give “the wave” to one another in real life. Oh, Dawn you are my people!
Dawn Camp says
Michele, your kids have even taken this a step further—the dog! You gave me a smile this morning. Yes, you’re my people.
I pray God will give me his eyes to see myself and others as He sees me. To drop all the preconceptions I may have in my mind before I even realise it. Wouldn’t it be amazing to just see and love others as God sees and loves us, without the influence shaped by our circumstances, family, society getting in the way of openly welcoming and/or starting that conversation with our sisters in Christ. I pray my life and thoughts move more in the life of the spirit and less in the life of the flesh. The sisters I’ve found here honestly are my treasured lifeline x I hope I’ve made sense here! Great post!
Dawn Camp says
Oh, Jas! I’m so thankful you’ve found a lifeline here—it is a treasure! Yes, we don’t even realize all the ways our circumstances and experiences influence our perceptions. God give us grace not to let it all get in our way.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Your post reminds me of how early Christ followers drew the symbolic fish in the sand as a way of saying/asking, “I am a Christ follower….are you?” If the person returned the gesture and drew a fish in the sand as well, they knew they were brothers/sisters. There so many symbols and gestures of hatred and segregating ourselves….Aside from a secret handshake, I suppose we need to follow Christ’s example and simply love those who are different in some ways than we are and look for the similarities. Let us be instruments of peace, not division and discord. I have two things: my words and my actions. You’ve challenged me as to how I’m going to use both today….this week, as I look to see the way Jesus did. Nice job!
Dawn Camp says
“Let us be instruments of peace, not division and discord.”
Beth Williams says
This world is full of animosity. People are so full of hate. We don’t take the time to get to know each other. It is simply you’re different-black, Asian, etc. Our preconceived notions take over. We kill or hurt others based on bigotry. I worked at a university where there were a number of Muslims going to school. It is easy to be nervous around them. Once you got to know them & realize that they are just ordinary people born to a different area & religion than us. They still need medical help & education like the rest of us. I love talking to older women – (I’m 53). We have more in common than one would think. We have dealt with aging parents & our own aging problems. We enjoy laughing about life. I say we drop our preconceived notions, get eyes like Jesus had & start loving each other no matter what!
Dawn Camp says
Life would be so much simpler if we could just shed those things and see through fresh eyes. We’re all dealing with so much of the same stuff, it just may look a little different on the outside.
Patricia Raybon says
Oh, I love this, Dawn. Thanks so much for writing and sharing with such love!
Dawn Camp says
Thank you, Patricia! ❤️
Dawn, thanks for shedding light on women mentoring women.. it’s a given in most churches.. I have participated 3years now in a program at church called heart to Home.. we followed Joneal Kirby’s book Heartfelt . Its been immensely helpful to us older and many younger women! It’s a monthly joyful meeting in an “seasoned “ woman’s home and along with a few other (older) seasoned women serving dinner and then sharing practical wisdom and personal experience making relationships with godly women in all seasons of their lives. I have been blessed and encouraged as an older woman more than I can say and have so much love for the many women I’ve met and friended with! God expects us to connect as His Word professes.. so do it! Take the plunge and begin a group.. we have over 80 women and 8 groups and counting. Last night our church hosted a Shane & Shane concert with 850 people audience ! We sang and we were all His people praising and worshipping our great God and Savior Jesus! I pray we continue in this very place to grow and share being one people in mind and Spirit \0/ happy Sunday!
Niki Hardy says
This is so true. I’m a runner, well, jogger really but that’s not the point, and runners will wave to each other in a sign of solidarity, community and shared experience. We as women really are the worst. I dress more for other women than myself or my husband, I worry most about girlfriends will think of my choices, my parenting, and even my choice of cocktail!!
What if? What if? Such great questions.
I thinking communicating you’re one of people to someone who’s different to me is about finding the common ground, however small, and starting there. Birthday in October? Great! Great Aunt called Mildred? That will do.
Let’s look for what unites us not what separates us.
Thank you for painting such a vivid picture for me.
I love this! Thank you!
Lynn Koukal says
Our pastor gave a great message this morning, about what it really means to belong to Jesus and how to behave with more the mind and thoughts of Christ than our own. I was truly convicted and am asking the lord to help me be an imitators of his love, laying down expectations, both of the flesh and it’s emotional roller coaster at times.
Personally, I need a woman’s retreat, to get truly centered.
I am so grateful for His grace believe me, but I am still impatient and not gentle enough with myself, yet, wondering how can I truly be gentle with others? My doing and feeling get tangled, and then I feel so less, and for go His unconditional love. I so appreciate all the women who share their struggles, that personally men or husbands do not understand.
Oh hide me Jesus, lover of my soul.