Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We have to use general labels to describe ourselves and each other because that is the best we can do.  The problem so often is we limit ourselves and others to those labels.  When I now tell people I am a stay-at-home dad, they filter that label through their experiences and information.  A stay-at-home dad could conjure very different pictures for people depending on their life experiences and information.  

When not used precisely, words are of very little use in getting to know someone.  Words can help us understand each other, but they can also separate us when we do not use them carefully.  

Labels can be a huge source of misunderstanding when we do not ask clarifying questions.  A label is a beginning, a conversation starter, not a definitive statement about who someone is.  Our labels just help us determine the right questions to ask if we want to know and be known.  We use labels because they help us describe what we are like, but they are not specific enough to tell us who we really are.  

God alone knows our true names, our unique identities rather than the collection of labels we wear throughout our lives.  All those labels change, but what part of us endures through all the labels?  That part dances just beyond the reach of our intellect because it gets lost in the inevitable inaccuracy of human description.  That is who we really are.  It is the soul and it yearns to be called by name.

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