"People have always been people. Always." - The Duchess (aka Dr. Porter)
I don't remember which class we were in, but this statement struck me and I wrote it down. That was two years ago, and I still keep coming back to the same conclusion -- people have always been the same.
Monday night we had a "seminar" of sorts with our English students to discuss the topic, "Are you looking for purpose in your life?" While discussing this with an American mother, a Korean classmate, and three Macedonian college students, I was reminded once again of how extremely different we are not. It doesn't matter what continent you live on or what neighborhood you grew up in, girls are always girls. We always seem to be jealous of each other, or betray trust, or hurt so deeply it takes years to forgive. I must never get over the fact that deep inside our colorful skins, the heart varies little in its essential needs. I can look back on the wounds that have been healed and truly be thankful for them, because they taught me how to forgive and showed me even more how much it cost for me to be forgiven. These bittersweet moments in my growing up have been nothing less than God transforming me from bitterness and pride to forgiveness and love. Most of all, I am grateful for the tearful question they allowed me to answer at the end of that discussion: "How did you make this change in your life?" Nobody wants to go through life with hatred toward others; we live like this because we do not know any other way. Praise God, He knows another way!
On a similar note, I also read through Acts 16 and the book of Philippians this week in preparation for our visit to the ruins of Philippi yesterday. I always read as if the Word is for my life, because I believe it is that relevant -- it is "living and active." But walking through this ancient city, and thinking of how different the lives of its citizens were from the 21st Century U.S., I remembered just how long ago these words were written. Think about it: these simple truths, the practical instructions for how to live, addressed the needs of a people much less removed from ourselves than we often think. Even in this ancient Greek city, Paul had to urge the people to get along with each other! You see, we may have figured out how to make ourselves prettier and our homes cleaner, but underneath our synthetic fabrics and expensive makeup, we are the same. Same needs, same hurts, same struggles, same Savior that transforms our hearts.
People have always been people. Always.