I like to say I grew up on the back of a motorcycle. Actually, my daddy and his stepdad owned matching Suzukis and enjoyed weekend rides in the mountains of northwest Arkansas.
We left in the early hours before the sun rose high enough to bake both pavement and shoulders. I wrapped my arms around my daddy’s waist and a bungee cord around mine, secured to the backrest in case I started to nod off.
When we passed motorcycles coming toward us my daddy and the other drivers waved to each other, a gesture that implied more than a simple hello; it communicated acceptance, camaraderie, the unspoken message you are one of my people.
When we rode that motorcycle we were part of a secret club, if linked by nothing more than our chosen mode of transportation.
It was a bond which transcended socioeconomics, age, and racial lines.
Last weekend I once again witnessed that wave between two motorcyclists and thought: what if the rest of us accepted each other so readily?
We have homeschooled our kids for over 20 years, and yet my kids still make jokes about other homeschoolers. “Why do you turn on your own demographic? Don’t you know those are your people?” I ask. Often they don’t see it.
Unfortunately most of us do this in some areas of our lives.
What if Christians celebrated their shared love of Christ rather than judging each other or denouncing other denominations?
What if mothers supported and encouraged one another rather than criticizing those who educate their children differently or make different choices regarding work or family size?
What if we quit unfriending our online friends based on their political views and remember why we connected in the first place?
What if we no longer allow age to be a barrier to friendships with other women? Let’s view older women as sources of wisdom (rather than assuming they can no longer relate to our struggles) and look for opportunities to help or mentor younger women (rather than assuming they don’t want our help).
What if rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses, we invite them over for supper?
Why do we believe differences create attraction in love but only sameness brings us together as friends?
We have to view our relationships through a special filter — the way Jesus sees us — to not only ignore our differences but embrace them.
How can you silently communicate you’re one of my people to another woman?