From An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor:

Human beings can be so frustrating.  Yes Jesus, I love everyone, but as Barbara Brown Taylor says, “It is particular human beings I have trouble loving.”

Particular human beings hug my bumper in rush-hour traffic and shoot birds at me when I tap my brakes.  Particular human beings drop my carefully selected portabella mushrooms into the bottom of my grocery bag and toss cans of beans on top of them. They talk on their cell phones while I am having a nice quiet lunch.  And then, they talk on their cell phones while I am waiting to pay them for my gas.  Particular human beings rarely do things the way I think they should do them.  When they prevent me from doing what I think I should be doing, I can run short on reverence for them.

One remedy for my condition is to pay attention to them when I can.  Just for a moment, I look for the human being instead of the obstacle. That boy who is crushing my portabellas does not know the first thing about mushrooms.  He is, what, sixteen years old?  With such a bad case of acne that it has to hurt when he lays his face on his pillow at night.  His fingernails are bitten to the quick.  He is working so hard to impress the pretty young cashier that it is no wonder he does not see me.  But I see him, and for just a moment he is more than the bag boy.  He is a kid with his own demons, his own bad skin and budding lusts. I pay attention to him and the fist in my chest lets go.



Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.