Friday, October 26, 2012

A Rose by any other name...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
William Shakespeare ~ Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
     Names.  Labels.  Things we call someone to "define" who they are because of some physical, mental, or other characteristic.  Why?  To make ourselves feel better?  To make someone else feel less than?

     I've been called Carrot Top, but not in a nice way.  Four Eyes because of my glasses at an early age, which I defiantly corrected to Six Eyes when I began wearing bifocals at the age of ten.   I was a Pigeon Toed Freak when I wore braces on my legs for a year... even with the pants my mom sewed and made to cover the cables that ran from my hips to my shoes.

     I still cringe when I hear someone called a name ... a label ... like that.

     Today I read a post by Karen at This Old House 2, and she shared a link to an amazing post by a young man who has been fighting his whole life against labels.  John Franklin Stephens, who is a Special Olympics athlete and ambassador.  What a powerful letter he has written, and how far he has come.  I'm humbled by his intelligence and struggles.

     In my journey through the Bible the last few months, I studied a passage in Colossians.  In reading it, I realized that Paul was telling the people of Colossia... and us... that there are no labels on people.  There shouldn't be any at least.  Because we are all one.  We may look different on the outside, but we are all the same on the inside.

     The next time you are tempted to label someone ... label them blessed.  Label them brilliant.  Label them awesome.  Label them ... forgiven. 

"Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. 
From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.”
~ Colossians 3:11 ~

1 comment:

  1. Labelling them human is enough for me. That said, I don't always like humans.