When What’s Different Looks the Same

Are you touring or journeying? How available are you? How committed are you? Flexible? Learn from others, but let God lead every step of the way.

Stacks and stacks of scarves. Where would we begin? How would we choose?

Then, help arrived.

A father and two sons owned the shop, and one son began to explain to us how the scarves were organized. The cheaper scarves were on the bottom shelves. The higher the scarf, the higher the cost…and quality. He pulled several and had us compare them so we understood the difference between the textures and details. He wanted us to be able to choose well. He also gave us a tutorial on scarf folds. The shop became a school, and we were the students. He wanted us to interact with the scarves, encouraging us to pull out as many as we wanted…and leave them for him to put away later. (That was a bit too much for my organizational-demanding-mind. I’d leave them out for him to put away correctly later, but I was going to, at the very least, fold them.)

I looked around the shop and noticed the diversity of the people in it. It was as if I was looking at shelves of beautiful scarves. I wondered what I was missing by leaving them on the shelf.

What do I miss by making assumptions, both positive and negative? How much more will I know when I ask questions, try new approaches, listen, and unfold people around me?

People are easy to deal with when we keep them on the shelves. We can admire their beauty and keep them tidy in our lives. But are they, really, in our lives if we don’t interact with them and take the risk of piles of messes around us? People get tangled, but it is in the process of tangling, of twisting, looping, and draping that we really get to see the full color of designs available around us.

God created colors. He created patterns and designs. And He created the people around us. Let’s not miss out.