In my old age wisdom, I am beginning to understand where she probably was coming from. --Fear-- There was comfort in associating with like minded people. She knew what to expect from those who were from similar social backgrounds. She often told me, "Look at how the boy's mother is treated and that will be your life if you marry in that family." Without knowing it--in many ways she was correct. We tend to emulate the behavior patterns of those in our clan--unless we make a conscious decision to break those patterns. Unfortunately, many do not even consider they are following in the murky footsteps they so detested in their youth--and do nothing to break the cycle.
I loved my mother--but she was wrong.
Oh--it was all out of care and concern for me--and probably wanting the best for me. The truth of the matter is---God did not create us to live in cocoons. If he had wanted us to live in autonomous groups with only those who look--act--smell like us---why then were we not created all alike?
It is a well know scientific fact that with lack of motion---things become rigid--inflexible. Why my knees and hips work quite well as long as I am not keeping them in the same position-in the easy chair--but instead-up and out-always moving them. Moving creates lubrication which helps keep them freely flowing. Water dammed up--becomes stagnant--and begins to grow smelly and moldy. It is much more refreshing and beautiful when allowed to flow throughout the varying terrain. Our personalities become rusty when we sit rigidly in the stagnant stream of sameness.
God sees the good in diversity. I am most challenged--most stretched--when I interact with those of different backgrounds than me. The more different--the more I am stretched. Jesus did not associate with Jewish blue collar craftsman exclusively---he loved all men and never turned away because of differences. He welcomed their diversity and embraced seeking those society shunned.
There is much to learn from different cultures---and best of all great food from all nations to be enjoyed. How bland and boring life would be if we stayed within the social boundaries of those who look like us. We have much to learn--and so do they--from each other. And when the day comes to a close--there are so many similarities. I have found the homeless love their children---the beggars all get hungry---the day wage earner is proud of a pat on his back for a good job. There is a huge streak of similarities which run through us all--perhaps much larger than our differences.
We all enjoy laughter--love---joy---and peace. We love our families--we crave companionship--we desire the satisfaction of a job well done--and we are all appointed to live and die--but once. We delight in the gentle touch--the friendly smile--the warm embrace--and the encouraging word. We all desire to be loved.
So Momma--bless her heart---was wrong---and I am blessed to move beyond the small circle of those like me---and enjoy the world God filled with all kinds---so different and yet so alike--after all we were all created in His image.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.