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Friday, May 15, 2009

Off Broadway: Understanding


New York has helped me better identify that there is a difference between understanding and believing.

New York is a place where people are willing to listen to what life has taught you. People want to hear the highs and lows. The peaks and valleys. The scraped knees and photo finishes. They will celebrate your future and mourn your past. They want to know what life has taught you. People want to know what you have come to understand through the uniqueness of your life.

However they are not interested in hearing what you believe. They don't want to know your position on Obama's newest policy. They don't care what you think about the new Yankee Stadium. They could care less about your theology of homosexuality. If you read it in a book, went to a conference for it, or heard it on NPR chances are that no one here cares.

Why? Because beliefs are often absent of relationship. And New Yorkers can smell that from the Hamptons...and to them it smells like New Jersey (New Yorker joke!!! and SNL reference!! Double points!!).

I imagine if we took time to ask ourselves what we have come to understand we would realize that our understandings are formed when we come into relationship with someone or something. Only in relationship, with a flesh-to-flesh experience, do our beliefs grow traction and become understanding.

I am grateful to NYC for this reminder.

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