How do we open our eyes to see everyone around us, not just those who look and act like we do? Those who might be in a different stage of life or a different salary bracket or have less/more education. The single moms. Single people, period. The introverts who blend into the background.
I love this question because it exposes the person’s heart beating for a diverse community. It isn’t always an easy or desired task to surround ourselves with those who may be different from us, but it much more quickly introduces the hard of community that Kara wrote about. What a beautiful picture of God’s love it is to love those who are different than we are!
The first place I would suggest to look is your church. The church should be a reflection of the body of Christ, where we see a multitude of nations, races, poverty levels, and people groups. Maybe you need to look outside your Sunday school class or small group and start observing people who are standing in the background at church. Maybe you need to start sitting in a different area during the sermon to find these people. Finding these people begins with moving around and observing.
Another place to look for community is just around you. God gives you what is in front of you and often, we miss what is in plain sight. Think about your life circumstances and who you see on a regular basis. It could be your neighbor, your hairdresser, a child’s teacher, your trainer at the gym, or the barista. Blythe shared with me not too long ago how she and her husband have become friends with their local coffee shop owners, praying for them and seeking ways to encourage them. It sometimes only takes an extra minute to talk or an extra show of interest.
Lastly, if you are still seeking diversity and God has laid it on your heart to go steps further, then I’d encourage you to ask around. Ask your friends if they know anyone who needs community or who may be completely different to you and seeking friends. It is God’s design that we love each other and live in a way that glorifies His perfect community, and He will surely answer this prayer!