God reminds us to welcome one another, to accept our differences. And I am reminded of one early morning when I was 10 years old. Every day, I delivered newspapers to my neighbors, but that day the papers left for my deliveries were not the right ones. My customers subscribed to The Hartford Courant, the oldest continuously published newspaper (read more here) in the nation. But instead, I found bundles of The Waterbury Republican.
I knew my customers would prefer the Courant. But in those pre-dawn hours, I was unsure of what to do so I rode home to catch my father before he left for work.
My Dad called the paper’s office to discover who delivered the bundles. Some drivers receive multiple newspapers, and I thought one of my Republican friends was trying to put one over on me. With little time to spare I delivered the Waterbury Republican to the largely Democratic homes along my route. And yes, I heard from many of my customers that evening.
Later I read that day’s paper and found the news printed was largely the same. The editorial pages included different points of view and the local stories were largely devoted to their region of the state. But many customers were clearly not happy and waited with anticipation for the printed news of their choice the next morning.
As a Rotarian, I have experienced great anticipation as I waited to greet new Rotary Exchange students arriving at Southwest Florida International Airport. Each time the doors opened from Customs we breathed with great expectation if our students would be next to exit.
Our anticipation for their arrivals come with questions: Were their travels safe? Will they be suited for the families they are assigned? Do they have good English language skills? What do they look like? Are they shy or gregarious? Will our program change them? Will the experience change us? Will they be guests or new family members? What will we learn from each other?
What they will be and what we shall become is not yet for us to see. It is yet another moment of great anticipation. I am certain that each will be a blessing to the other, and the pangs of anticipation will fade to the birth of new relationships. And we will learn and see another point of view walking and talking to us every day.
Holy One, we know you by many names, but still we are part of one human family, Your family. Open our hearts and minds so that we may see Your reflection in the face of every person on this earth. Amen.