We do try to stereotype people and fit them into pigeonholes of our own imaginings, but the best method is to take others where they’re at.
When we communicate with each other we use various feelings, tastes, and events as common ground, but the feelings, tastes, and events change because each person is different. That’s also the way You meet us – where we’re at! You met St. Peter differently than You met St. Paul, or St. Augustine, or St. Francis – or me. You take into consideration where each is at.
I like my family. I like jazz, fishing, and cigars. I like swimming in the summer. I like silent seclusion. I like the outdoors and beautiful natural scenery. I like people who don’t just think of themselves. I like dogs. I like chili, ribs, and spaghetti made only by my wife. I like chocolate, playing drums, and writing these letters to You. I like the season of autumn. I like movies and sports on TV, etc., etc. The point is, all these “likes” make You have to meet me in a unique way. While none of these proclivities defines my being they do shape where I’m at – where I need to be met.
My consideration for others should be along the same lines for nobody is exactly at the same point as me. Nobody puts forward exactly the same proportion of feelings, tastes, and events as I do. So why is it so hard to take this into consideration? It stunts our growth in love when we don’t accept where others are and love them right there at that point.There are times when where we’re at butts up against where another is and the barrier seems impenetrable, but so often the ability to meet and love another breaks down the barrier if we just consider where they’re at.
Lord, give me the courage, grace, strength and help I need to overcome myself to meet others where they’re at.