Leader Letter

Subscribing congregations should share this letter with congregational leaders.  Being oriented to the month’s theme, and equipped to help others in the congregation get aligned with it, builds the whole congregation’s engagement with the theme.  Which, of course, means unity and energy for the community.

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Dear Leaders,

One day in elementary school, some kids passed around a sheet of paper. On it was a picture of a duck.  I saw nothing remarkable in it.  But they did.  So, I looked again.  They said that the duck I was looking at was also a rabbit. I looked again.  Didn’t see it. But they insisted.  They pointed out that the duck’s beak could be seen as the ears of a rabbit, and so forth.  Gradually, the rabbit came into focus.  Once I saw it, it was clear as the day. But without a few clues, I’m not sure if I ever would have seen it.

So many things are like that: hidden in plain sight.  Right in view, but out of our perception.  As it can be true of pictures of ducks that are also rabbits, it can also be true of the pain of certain people, which we might not wish to see, or even whole people we don’t wish to see.  That may seem to hard to believe, that we couldn’t see whole people, right there in the room.  But it’s a common experience for many.  To be ignored, looked over, looked past, and just plain not seen.

While it didn’t make much difference for me to see the rabbit as well as the duck, it makes a profound difference whether or not we see one another.  Yes, it might make a less-noticed person feel more respected to be seen.  But the benefit is not one of noblesse oblige on our parts, gazing down at someone else.  Instead, the benefit is to us.  As we learn to see others, we come into view of a rich bouquet of humanity, with vivid variation, allowing us a grander view of the holy, and the great gifts of life.  When we don’t see another person, it is as if we are rejecting the divine itself.  In not seeing others, we also reject the richness of relationship which could uplift our lives.

As you think of this coming week, see what you can do to disrupt your old habits of seeing.  See how you can take a new angle, or look a new way.  Maybe you’ve told a certain story about different people, and only allowed yourself to see them in a certain light . See if you perceive different gifts in them, different aspects. When we practice seeing each other, we practice beholding what is most sacred of all.

Faithfully,

Jake

Rev. Jake Morrill
Lead Minister ORUUC
Executive Director UUCF
Launchpad Partner