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We are not so different, you and I.
We had been mall prowling for a while. To use the term ‘shopping’ would be misleading since at this point the only places we’d managed to hand over some cash was at Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and the food court where there were entrées  from every nation: Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, and American – whatever the craving, we could find it at this virtual smorgasbord of many nations.  handdrawn-merry-go-round-021114-ykwv2In the center of it all, what the kids were waiting for was a ride on the carousel, the kind with painted horses, and music of the calliope cranking out slightly off-key notes of Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Pop Goes the Weasel.
“Please? Can we ride the carousel? Ride with us, Grammy. Right up here on this pink horse with the colored rhinestone bridle”.  For a dollar, I was enticed up onto the stage overlooking the most beautiful scenery one can find in the mall. People! As the carousel slowly turned, my eyes took it all in. Teenage girlfriends decisively analyzing their purchases, turbaned men tending to toddlers while moms in Saris fed babies, a table surrounded by wheelchairs occupied by young adults and their devoted caregivers, moms and dads at tables with kids held in real conversation, men and boys comparing shoes and hats from the sporting goods store, people in every shade of skin color sharing life, every ethnic background, lots of laughing, some talking excitedly, others with heads together in quiet whispers, friends embracing,  then shaking hands upon parting – for a dollar I could see the world. “Grammy, please ride the carousel with us”. What started out as a ride to acquiesce to the wishes of my grandchildren, turned out to be the event that touched my heart and renewed my hope in this American melting pot that we all call home.
Words to remember today and forever.  Jesus was asked which commandments of the law were most important.  Here’s what he said in Matthew 22:37-40 ” Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
God created us all equal, but unique. Before we were born, He knew the color of our skin, our eyes, our hair. He knew the families we would be born to, where we would live, and path our lives would take. Why can’t we all get along? We have what we need to make it happen.  Ephesians 1 … God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings …he has chosen us even before creating the world, that we should be holy and before him in love …. adopted by Jesus Christ according to his will and glory of his grace and we are accepted and loved by him.
For $1 … Hope …
Toby Mac sings Speak Life