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same kind of different.

Where do I begin?

I’m different. Let’s just start there. I don’t usually do or think things the way others do. I’m emphatically compassionate and understanding. I purposefully look to see the beauty in all people, things, circumstances, situations, etc. I really do. And I’m a forgiver. I truly accept people for where they are in life at the moment. I get that we all have our own journey. I get it. That being said, I have an acute discernment. I usually know how much of myself to give.

It can be difficult living in a world where most people are not the ‘same kind of different’ as me. I know two who are: my mom and dad. I learned how to be different from them.

I grew up watching my parents love and accept ALL kinds of people. Our home had an open door policy. I mean, ANYONE was accepted. My mom would feed ‘em. My dad would interrogate ‘em and try to learn who they were. Like, who they really were. He’d meet ‘em right where the were (in life). My mom did the same. And she could get along with ANYONE. Empathy is what it was. They had it in abundance, and I watched that. It’s all I ever saw. It’s all I know how to be.

My dad helped SO many people. Often times it would come back to bite him in the butt, but he’d continue to give over and over again. My mom had a gift. She brought the best out of people.

She gave SO much hope.

Like, literally, I was cool with my dad’s ex-wife as a child. I’d go sit with her at church, and she’d give me gum! My mom would be in the choir stand singing and smiling away. Most people can’t even mention their exes name, much less be cool with them. They’re carrying too much unforgiveness, heaviness, or envy. I don’t know. Whatever keeps them all hung up.

But my parents are different.

Just recently, my dad invited his ex-wife to church. He prayed a sincere and powerful prayer for her health. We all: my mom, myself, my husband, and our entire church family stretched our hands towards her and asked God to be a healer. We cried out on her behalf.

Nothing else mattered in that moment. Only this person’s life.

That is beautiful to me. It brings me to tears now. Knowing that I have that same sort of love and compassion running through my veins at this very moment. I am cut from THAT kind of cloth. I am a product of two individuals who are very different from others in the world; very peculiar. They are me, and I am them. I am privileged in THE best way. I grew up learning how to practice a Godly love.

I think it’s rare to find people who can love like that… I love like that. I really do.

Love God. Love People. The leading theme of my life.

I’m wondering now if having a heart for people and an ability to meet them where they are is a learned behavior, or whether it’s innate. Is it a gift to be able to accept and expect people’s differences and love them for exactly who they are? Is it a simple choice? Does it depend on our experiences with being accepted?

Maybe its something that has to be prayed for. I have specifically asked for a heart like God’s. I’ve asked that He break my heart with the things that break His. I want to see people the way He does. I want to love that way. It’s something I work on with great intention. I think people need to be loved so badly. Ah. It’s what the world needs now. More love.

The world needs unconditional love. There are not enough of us who truly practice that. There’s a shortage of true love.

To me true love doesn’t just disappear when the one you love lets you down. Loving someone unconditionally means that you’ll always love them. True love never dies. True love means you can pray for a foe that was once a friend, because though you may no longer like them, but you still love them as a human being. And I don’t mean praying that God will change them. Ha. I mean praying that God will bless them, and give them the desires of their hearts. That He will shower them with mercy and love just as He does you, and that He will protect and keep them.

That’s love.

Being willing to see a person’s imperfections, weaknesses, flaws, or mistakes and love them anyway. It may be from a distance, and that’s okay. But the love is still there. It doesn’t go away.

We’re talking true love here. Not just soul mates, not marriages, not simply romantic relationships. We’re talking true love towards human beings. Whether they’re like us, or different, whether they’re strangers, or former best friends, whether they’re spouses or exes, whether they were good to us, or they hurt us. We’re talking forgiveness. This is not that easy love that feels good all the time. We’re talking unconditional and true love.

Do you have it in you? Are you capable of that kind of love?

Are you the same kind of different as me?

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