other: learning to celebrate our difference and unity

In terms of being different and distinct, “other” isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be. Although we wouldn’t want to be extraneous or surplus to requirements, we all revel in our individuality and uniqueness. One person’s cage is another’s idea of freedom. Difference can be celebrated.

Unity is worth rejoicing over too. Because what unites us (especially as people of faith) should be greater than what might divide us. We all need others to relate to and to help us feel cared for, encouraged and understood. God made us for relationship. Together we are stronger.

Being “other” includes: the old and young, the able and less able, the small and great, the bold and confident and the shy and timid ones, the full spectrum of society and those who we might not look at twice, if we didn’t share a common humanity and feel a sense of connectivity in Christ.


When we think about the other we consider
not only our sisters and brothers in faith but
the estranged, the alien and strangers in our
midst and ourselves—when we feel cut off
and adrift, isolated and lost to all but God

To be other is to feel excluded and less than
unless we think about our inclusivity in Christ
and how his otherworldliness makes us awed
and his willingness to include us is a pure act
of God’s supreme holiness, mercy and love

We are most like one another when we can grasp
our unity in him, our bond of faith acting like super
glue to hold us together, despite our differences of
doctrinal practices or lived out spiritual expression
as we respond to Holy Spirit’s ministrations within

I am the other half of you and you of me, for our
God-woven togetherness exceeds all boundaries
and wraps us around with his holy similarity, while
we bask in being wholly unique—yet joined in him
© joylenton

I’m delighted to be sharing my 5 minute poem with the fabulous #FMF writing crew today as we express our thoughts on this week’s prompt of “other.” Please click here to join in and read the great posts being shared.  Thank you! 🙂 

19 thoughts on “other: learning to celebrate our difference and unity

  1. Thanks for sharing your musings. We are indeed most alike in our common need of Him, even if we come from all various needs and stories. We need each other to fully grasp the greatness of his grace!

  2. Dear Joy,
    How very beautiful!! Thinking of us being on “other” sides of the world, and yet the Lord brought us together in Him through these digital homes, is beyond amazing to me!! I am so grateful for the ways that He has bound us together through the word-weaving and sharing here. What a precious gift that still brings such wonder to me. OH may I keep my heart open to find more of His wonder in the places “other” than where I would expect! I loved your musings here today. Hugs, Love and Blessings to you my friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, the other side of the pond doesn’t feel so far away at all when we can meet so easily across our screens! Our word-weaving is a wonderful gift of grace we get to appreciate as fellow weavers and readers, who are brought together by our faith in Christ. A few short years ago I would never have expected to use the internet for more than email. Now it is my major communication vehicle and means of creative expression! Thank you so much for your lovely encouragement. It means the world to me to have you as treasured friend. Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo 💜

    • Hello Susan! We have comfy seats, plenty of books to read, poetry to savour, words to ponder over and chat about. There’s coffee percolating, plus tea in the pot if you prefer and cake of every kind on the table. You’re always welcome here, my friend. Do drop by again! 😊💜

  3. Beautiful. Joy! I’m so glad there is no “other” in Christ. We are all part of His family, and even though each one is different and unique we are all included. Like Bettie, I’m so glad to have met you and other lovely bloggers through the internet. And like you, a few years ago I thought the internet was for email or searching for things. Never did I imagine how many wonderful people I would “meet” and some actually in person. I see you way across the pond, Bettie across the USA from me, yet we can communicate as if we were right next to each other. I’m so thankful for the friends God has given me through the blogging network. Many blessings to you, dear Joy, with love and hugs! xoxo

    • Gayl, it’s the all inclusiveness of the Gospel that makes it such Good News, isn’t it? None of us is left to wonder whether God loves us or not. The Cross of Christ is clear evidence that He loves us far more than we can ever dream, hope or imagine. The huge distance between us and God is shortened by Christ’s sacrificial love. And as kindred spirits by faith, one of the greatest joys is having instant connection to one another in Him. I really value your friendship and that of “other lovely bloggers” all over the world! It’s like having a beautiful neighborhood of believers on my doorstep. There’s going to be an amazing party when we all meet up one day! Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo 😊💜

  4. I love this, Joy! A biblically understanding of how to celebrate our God-given differences is so needed in our world today. As Believer’s it is our responsibility to lead, with love, by example. As you so beautifully penned, it is our unity in Him that shines the light of commonality on our differences and makes all things possible. Blessings on your Saturday, sweet friend!

    • Thank you, June! I couldn’t agree with you more. We definitely do have a responsibility as Believers to demonstrate the love, mercy and forgiveness of God in every circumstance, especially in the way we relate to others. Praise God for the unity we have in Him! May the “light of our commonality” shine on our differences and responses toward all we encounter. Have a blessed weekend, dear friend! xo 💜

    • Thank you so much, Deborah! I’m really pleased you enjoyed the poem and grateful it touched you like it did. And I concur with your closing thoughts here too. If only… Wouldn’t the world be a much happier place than it is? Have a blessed week, my friend. xo 😊💜

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