Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perspective Paperclips

One never knows when a lesson will come back to bite you.

About a week ago I was surrounded by trees, students and the humid air of Oklahoma. While I was there Terry, a leadership facilitator, handed me a simple piece of wire in the form of a paperclip. He challenged me along with the group to be creative and bend the wire into a desirable shape. In 30 seconds, I turned my paperclip into a U. Other students made hearts, fish hooks, boxes, ninja weapons, etc.

Since that day I have reflected on the lesson of the wire and its application to our ordinary lives. How often do we define wire as a paperclip without noting its true potential?

For example, a person with a huge house can be labeled as glutenous. We see pretty model girls as high maintenance models who would rather put on lipstick than open a book.

However, recently my thoughts have turned to the labels we place on individuals whose marriages have failed. Divorce? Is it just another wire in disguise? While I believe there are many marriages that could and should be saved by adopting the "we" clause and forgetting the "I" that fosters selfishness, I am also learning of the pain of those abandoned by a spouse. You see there are so many in society that we label as "selfish" and "not good enough" or "strong enough" to save their marriage.

Yet there is another perspective. John Bytheway once said, marriage is like playing a duet on the piano, it takes two willing people dedicated to practicing the piece together. However, what do you do when your partner decides to exit during the second movement? It is impossible to continue the piece alone; and on the same note these individuals full of pain are stereotyped as paperclips.

I guess my plea today is to reexamine past judgments. As Terry our facilitator said, "Allow someone else to define who they are." Or as the Lord said to Samuel, "Look not on his countenance, or the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

Whether the person be divorced, rich, beautiful, poor, of a different culture or just plain weird, look upon their heart and discover the potential wire within.

1 comment:

Katie H. said...

That was beautifully written! I really enjoyed reading it.