When I visit foreign countries, I love getting to be with the regular people in their daily living. Because of this, sometimes I find myself in situations where I can get some strange looks.
For example, I just crossed a massive river here in Bangledesh & on the ferry, I was a novelty. I had the distinct impression that they don’t see loads of Western women traveling through more remote Bangledesh. Of course a person can be unsettled by the staring eyes, foreign faces, language barrier, cultural differences & the loads of other contrasts that could create barriers & hindrances for connecting.
But I’ve found that a genuine smile & warm countenance universally melt icy stares & cold shoulders.
Let’s be committed to regulating the temperature in our interactions by remaining congenial & warm!
I’ve been thinking about some of the moms that I’ve met over the last few years in my travels with Saving Moses. In some ways they are 100% the same as us & in some ways they’re 100% different than us. They’re 100% the same in their love & passion for their kids – maybe even more pure in their love for their kids. What makes them different than us is that they don’t have have all of the “stuff” that we have. This has started me thinking about who I am if you strip away all of my education, stuff & sophisticated living. These are some questions worth consideration:
*Am I a nice person without all of the accessories that cushion my life?
*do I want to help people regardless of what I get in return?
*am I sincere & authentic?
*am I growing & letting God strengthen the weakspots that I avoid?
*does my education & sophistication enable me to help people more or do I use these only to my own advantage?
Just a few things running around in my head today 🙂
I was recently in Haiti for some work with www.savingmoses.org. It was deeply moving experience for me – even from the time I landed at the airport. You see, the airport at Port au Prince was damaged & so every passenger was led to a large warehouse to go through the immigration process. I was pleasantly surprised to be almost totally surrounded by missions groups who were coming to help Haiti in a variety of ways. Everyone was very friendly, chatty & I could tell they were eager to jump into doing some good, hands on missions work. I love to be with people when they’re hearts are intent on helping others – such a rich experience!
My return to the States was a bit of a contrast. As we entered the US, we were going through the normal immigration formalities & had collected our luggage to finish going through customs. There were some long lines & it seemed like one line was shorter than the rest, so we jumped in that line. Unfortunately, we cut in front of a group of people unknowingly. One of the girls in the group proceeded to say something really rude to us. I turned around to see what was wrong & realized what we’d done. When I asked her where she had been, she explained that they were returning from a missions trip to Haiti. I don’t think she caught the irony of the situation – she had gone to Haiti to be part of something altruistic, benevolent, unselfish & nice. Now that she was back to the US, she was in “normal-ville”. I’m left wondering how often we miss opportunities for God to transform us. Just something to consider
i was flying somewhere & observed some person get really upset w a flight attendant & chew out the attendant.
i was at starbux & saw a person blow off the barista making their beverage
In both of these instances, i was perplexed. Why would you take out the frustrations of your day on the person responsible for your safety & well being while flying on an airplane? What good would be accomplished by making a flight attendant angry w you? Furthermore, why would you dismiss or ignore the person making a drink that you will be consuming?
Why do we let out or frustrations on someone who is serving us? Even if they get something wrong or make a mistake, why wouldn’t we extend some of the abundant grace that we’ve received? Aside from what Jesus tells us to be kind & loving, its just good common sense to think twice & be nice, even if you’re feeling a bit stressed out. 🙂