“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.”
It was – definitely odd.
A flock of ducks on a slough. (Well, that part isn’t odd. It’s spring migration, and we in these parts see millions of birds as they pass through in their way to their nesting grounds up north).
No. It was their compatriot that was odd.
In the very middle of the snaggle of ducks was a swan.
I felt like I should be singing that old jingle, ‘one of these things is not like the others!’…
And then it happened. We had a revelation.
We drove past, Hubby turned to me, and we declared together, “Is that the Ugly Duckling?”
Indeed. The real life, honest-to-goodness Ugly Duckling.
All grown up and beautiful.
And definitely the odd man out.
When we backed up to get a closer look (and a photo!) off they flew into the sunset.
Somehow, those ducks had accepted a swan among them. As one of them. Allowing it to fly, swim, feed, move among them. As one of them.
Isn’t that rather lovely?
I mean, it sorta gives one hope. If critters who don’t have as much brain power as humans have can learn to live peacefully with different sorts of critters who look, sound, act and behave differently than they, well –
Perhaps we too have hope after all.
One of the central themes taught in the early church is one of unity. There were many many groups and classes of folks who were all coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus and trying to learn how to worship together.
But they had a lot of differences. Race. Religious background. Language groups. Some were slaves, others rich. It must have presented more than one challenge for sure.
The message to all these lovely folks over and over was to accept one another.
Not judge. Not posture. Not look for or emphasize differences, but to gather together in unity because Christ accepted us.
We are all the odd man out.
Yet we are all gathered into the fold in love, because Jesus loves all.
Swans, ducks, rich, poor, every race, every language.
Hadn’t we ought to start accepting the ‘odd man out’?
Bless others with your acceptance with me?
Father, how You love us – all of us. Teach us to see others with Your eyes of acceptance. Show us how to shower our acceptance onto those who look or behave differently than us. Amen.