When I look at my bird pictures, I often imagine the conversations the birds are having. Last year, I was watching these fire finches. The are beautiful and brightly colored. They almost always seem to be seen in pairs. Frequently I see them in small flocks of 12-20 birds. They are less frightened by people and will often get very close, which makes it a joy to watch them, because you can see their expressions.
This pair was in a tree above my head. In the top picture they seem to both be seeing the same thing. Their eyes are locked onto something. I wonder if it was another bird? another little female bird? She turns away from him. “I can’t believe you would even look at her!”
“What?’ he says. She turns back to look at him, “Don’t even talk to me.” If you were to look at the pictures, what is the story you are telling yourself? “Let’s go out to dinner.” “I’d rather stay home.” “Look, I’ve already got my house shoes on.” “Yes, you do.”
What story can you tell with the three pictures?
How often, when we see things, do we start tell ourselves a story? We think we know people’s motivations. We think we know what is in their minds. We think we understand what their words really mean. How often do we jump to conclusions without gathering enough information?
It is so easy to assume. It is much harder to listen and understand. It is easy to accuse. It is much harder to wait and see. It is easy to react, but much harder to control ourselves and choose. Until we can honestly confront the inner dialogue, our inner voice that fills in the gaps around us, we will never move to a deeper level of community, compassion and love.
Jesus saw people. The pharisees saw people. Jesus saw sheep without a shepherd. He had compassion on them. He wanted to gather them under his wings. The pharisees saw people. They were harsh with them. They tried to push them away. Same people, different narrative.
This week tell a better story when you look at people. Choose to believed the best. Choose to interpret them in the most positive light.