Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A few of you know my culture shock of moving to SW Arkansas. In Bentonville I shared an office with two Naturopathic Doctors, could drop off recycling at any nearby town, shopped at a huge farmer's market and was part of a inclusive homeschool group of people of many faiths. Here I feel like my freak flag is flying high. I miss talking to my 5 Naturopathic Doctor friend and being around other people who share the same thoughts as me were comforting and uplifting. This has made me look at how other people must feel when they move to America. I can't imagine the culture shock that Grace (my sister in law) felt when she came here from China for graduate school. I think we as American Christians do a poor job of making others feel welcome. I feel out of place because my beliefs go against the grain of the community. Everyone wants to be accepted and respected for who they are. When other cultures come into our communities do we reach out to them? Do we invite them to the park? Do we respect their culture and point of view? Often we do not. If they don't walk through the door of our church we do not want anything to do with them. We treat them as if they are a virus that is going to infect our children should they play together. Shame on us! God has given us the greatest gift of love and we are expected to share that love. We will never reach those around us unless we love them where they are at. We must respect their beliefs, cultural differences and families just as we want to be respected. We need to show them God's love so when they ask why we are different from the rest of the people who shun them we have an answer.