On occasion I can be seen scaling a rock face with nothing but ropes attached to me to keep me from the ground 200 ft below. It was on one occasion, while working hard to get to the top that I heard a family stop and start exclaiming, “oh my gosh. She is so high. I gotta watch her and see if she makes it!” and on and on. They were taking pictures of me like I was a zoo animal caught in some amazing animal act. This family was from an area of the country that does not have tall rocks to scale so to them, I was an oddity for sure.
For me, I was totally at home, outside, doing my thing but it was so foreign to this family that they actually stopped their hike and took pictures of me, capturing something odd and unusual – a local caught in the act of doing something quite unique to them.
As I tour the country and see so many faces of America, I too find myself wanting to take pictures of the unusual…like the other day when I had to take a shot of the fried pickle on my plate in North Carolina. This is totally normal for southerners to do – fry anything and everything, including your nice fresh pickle or ceasar salad – but was quite strange to me.
Underneath all these moments of discovering our differences though, I see so much unity too. Families doing their best to be families, loving their kids, going through struggles and finding strength in God.
While I might be a zoo animal caught in action to this family, I am totally just doing what locals do in my world. Let’s not stop at first impressions of what’s so different that we need to take a picture of it but continue on to see what we have that also unifies us.