Friday, February 12, 2016

equal doesn't mean what we think it does

Lewis discusses equality in the February 10th selection from A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He points out that equality among people is kind of senseless. And after reading his remarks, I started to think that the idea of all people being equal is an answer to the wrong question. It would be like trying to find the answer to the question “What is the best way to kill these five innocent people?” There is no good answer, because it's the wrong question.

So it is with equality. When we pretend that everyone is equal, we misunderstand the way that God made us. He didn't make us the same, He made us delightfully different. We each have strengths and weaknesses, and all of us have an important part to play in His plan for the world. You wouldn't think, for example, that a little French girl who spent most of her life sick in bed and who died at the young age of 24 would have accomplished much for the Kingdom. Yet, she is considered a Doctor of the church, and her writings have inspired millions of people over the course of history. She is one of my favorite saints.

When we pretend that we're all equal, we're tempted to treat each other the same. On one hand, that sounds like a good thing. Because it means we don't treat some people worse than we treat others. But those aren't the only options. We don't have to choose between treating someone badly or treating them the same as everyone else. We can treat each person kindly, according to their needs and gifts. Yes, this takes more time. You can't cookie cutter manufacture it. It doesn't work well with mass production. It takes one on one time, tender care, and individual attention. God sets the standard for this in the way He cares for each of us.

We should learn to follow His example.

Thank You, God, for making each of us so different. Please help us to be kind to one another in our wonderful diversity.