Have you ever traveled to a new city or country? Started at a new school? If so, you know what it can be like to be the stranger. Judgments deem some as even less welcome, less worthy: being a woman, gay, lesbian, transgendered, too short, too tall, too heavy.
When someone’s differences are all we see, we may be missing out on a picture of the total person. How can you help welcome those who may feel out of sync, lost or lonely?
1. Seek to truly see the whole person, not just the immediate issues that make them seem different from you.
2. Consider what life must be like for someone who is seen as different.
3. Realize we are all God’s creation. Seek to live in a world that reflects God’s love and acceptance.
Welcome the stranger. Help those who are vulnerable. Demonstrate the true meaning and power of your faith to bring hope and new life for all.
This message was adapted from “Welcoming the Stranger” by Lily R. Wu that appeared in the March 1997 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.