Prophets in Our Midst
A couple of weeks ago, a reading at church really caught my ears. “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
Well, I’m not a prophet, but this sentence speaks volumes to me.
How often do we consign our family members or friends to the boxes we’ve placed them in over the years? We assume that because we have known each other all our lives, we really know each other.
But do we?
This limited view was brought home to me a number of years ago, with a woman in my small faith community, whom I’d only known in the context of a ‘friend’ relationship. I knew she was a scientist, and sometimes she would mention human relations problems she occasionally encountered in her lab. Those questions, along with sharing child/spouse/friend stories, were the focus of our conversations.
Quite by accident, I learned that she has a global reputation in the field of renal research. She is a real celebrity in the scientific community. To me, she was a friend with ordinary, day-to-day challenges.
It got me to thinking about the perspective we can adopt when it comes to being an expert, a celebrity, or a specialist. Somehow, it seems that only strangers, people we don’t know, can hold the magic. Friends and family members are excluded from the equation—we’ve seen their foibles and consigned them to the roles we expect, or the roles they have adopted in order to ‘fit in.’
How often have I been oblivious to the gifts of the people in my life? It’s so much easier to categorize — “He’s the smart one.” “She’s the artistic one.” “He’s the troublemaker.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard variations on this theme, and spoken them, too.
Every one of us is so much more than that!