From a distance some birds look the same. Small, brown, feathers, beaks. Nothing to distinguish one from another. But look closely and it is a different story. Small is not a singular size, it’s a range. Brown is not one color, it’s a rainbow. Feathers are not all alike, their texture and density change with age. Beaks are specialized to the type of food their bodies need.
The same is true of people. We make assumptions from a distance, assumptions that prove to be untrue when we get up close to another person. The pictures that adorn Facebook are a facade. The beaming smiles mask hidden painful life stories. The quick pleasantries of a passing exchange barely scratch the surface of the life being lived.
But, when we take time to sit together, to ask difficult questions and to listen to the answers, we discover a soul that is just like ours. A soul filled with stories and parallel life experiences. We discover a friend in someone who was an acquaintance or maybe even once a stranger.
When we allow ourselves to reach out and get close, we discover we are not alone.