This sign, spotted on the restroom door in a Portsmouth NH restaurant this week, made me smile. The message of inclusion was clear. Female, male, transgender, bisexual folks, wheelchair users, and yes, even aliens are welcome there.
There is something very simple and heartening about a sign that wants to include everyone. It is the opposite of the hateful messages that appeared in stores and restaurants in the not-so-distant past in our country. Signs that announced “Help wanted. Whites only,” or “No Irish served here.” Signs that designated particular water fountains, restrooms, or waiting rooms for particular races.
In contrast, this cheery green and black message defines the only threat that we all must combat. That would be germs – no matter how you identify, germs are an equal-opportunity menace. So please – wash your hands. Once that is done, we can stand united (even hand in hand), confident that our shared humanity is more important than any outward distinctions.
What you look like, who you love, how you define yourself – those are all details compared to our shared identity. Child of God, created in God’s image.
We live in a funny world when a sign on a bathroom door can teach a lesson about how to treat one another. Let’s take the hint and offer one another the respect, welcome, and dignity that all of God’s people deserve.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”…God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1: 26-27