I recently came across this statement: "Understanding is simply loving." Let's think for a moment about what this really means. I have often heard people say, "I see what you're saying." Meaning "Okay, now I understand what you are trying to say." Or if you are in school you are attempting to understand the course material. There are many uses for the word understanding, but the meaning as I use it here has to do with the natue of any meanngful encounter we have with another person, or ourselves.
Often upon meeting someone it is our human nature to make a judgment about them. But any judgment we make obscures who they truly are and prevents a truly meaningful encounter. For a truly meaningful encounter to occur we must see through the veil of appearances upon which we make our judgment to the truth of their inner being. Instead of offering judgment we must first offer understanding. To understand is to listen openly and without judging. We should open to everyone in the way Ian Maclaren suggested,"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Offer understanding for the hard battle everyone you meet is fighting. Offering this kindness is offering love.
In the world today there is so much judgment and so little attempt ot understand each other. A meaningful encounter can only happen when we offer love by offering the attempt to truly understand what is happening in the life of the other person. Then it will be possible to say "Okay, now I understand what you are trying to say."
This also applies to each one of us. Each of us is fighting a hard battle. We often judge ourselves harsher than we judge others. Offering kindness to oursevles, truly loving ourselves, allows us to see through our own veil of apearances to the truth of who we truly are. Seeing through our own veil of appearances, seeing through our individual hard battles, is our life's course material in the school that is life. Offer love. It is the path to understanding.
"WITH ALL YOUR GETTING, GET UNDERSTANDING." PROVERBS 4:7
Enjoy the following video that so well illustrates that love is understanding.
Gene Ford Runnels
Rev. Gene Ford Runnels