The final prayer of Jesus was that the believer's would be one (John 17). I have been pondering this lately, kind of been challenged by it.
The idea of oneness is something that people talk about, but don't exhibit, including myself, because we struggle with discomfort. To be one we must be willing to step out of our comfort zone.
To understand that you are loved by God, you must also understand that everyone else is also. We are all different.
The initial idea of following this concept of oneness begins with dressing ourselves with new eyes.
I was recently at something called P.A.P.A. Fest (People Against Poverty and Apathy). There were many people talking about issues with not connecting with the poor, issues with people who hide themselves in suburbs and leave the poor to themselves, etc. Some people focused on living with less, protecting the environment (God's creation), learning to live a life in rhythm with God instead of the world, etc.
While some people were in "intentional communities" with the poor and others desiring to alleviate the injustice done to the poor, they seem to cut themselves off from those who live in suburbs and serve Christ in other ways. This happens in the vice versa as well. Not all people do this, but some split things.
I was riding my bike through suburbs and thought to myself "I would never want to live in a house like that with a yard and stuff." It felt uncomfortable now that I had been accustomed to living with less. Vice versa, many people in those houses would say that same thing to perhaps those who live with less. The thing is that this un-comfort keeps us from meeting each other and getting to know each other, though we may be brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a separation.
We must learn to accept each other, to recognize that we all grow up in different places, are in different walks of life with God, are all called to help different kinds of poverty in this world we live in.
It only becomes a problem when we isolate ourselves, when we keep ourselves from being one in Jesus Christ. We must be willing to step out and meet our neighbors to understand the way they live, to reach out to people without assumptions (not including times where there is real reason to have assumptions to protect ourselves...unfortunately we have to do that). We must meet people with innocence and a clean plate for where to place our understanding of them other than where they live, how much they live with, the way they dress, or the color of their skin.
I struggle with all of these pieces of people. It can keep me from engaging people with love instead of fear. Let us seek out what it means to be one.
There are so many more thoughts I have been having about this, but I can't remember them now. I hope that these thoughts encourage you in some way and get you thinking.
Challenge yourself to meet people you might feel uncomfortable getting to know whether it is in your neighborhood or at work.