In the last episode, Brenda talked about what she has gleaned from her travels to India and other parts of the world. She shared that experiencing other cultures and meeting different people teaches us that though we are different, we all crave to be loved and accepted. The Menno Clinic in India, where Brenda is visiting currently, seeks to showcase this love and acceptance no matter a person’s status, background, or beliefs. They are being like Jesus.
Aren’t we as Christians called to do that in our everyday lives? In our communities? In our families?
These days, it’s easier to be divided than to cross that divide. We stay with those who believe what we do, act the way we do, or like what we like. We tend to avoid those who are younger or older, those who don’t have our knowledge or education, or those who vote opposite of us. Racial, gender, political, and many other “differences” can become barriers between us. Even in Christian culture, these barriers can go up if we’re not careful. Jesus did not see barriers when he ministered to tax collectors, prostitutes, and thieves. He treated every person with value and respect, whether they reciprocated that or not.
Begin the “barrier breaking” process by listening to others with the intent to know them, not to defend yourself or prove your point.
Recognize that you can learn from other people and their experiences. Yes, even children can teach us.
Practice eye to eye contact and give genuine smiles. Become a refreshing and hospitable person for others.
You may find it surprisingly challenging to do these things with some people, but remember that it can take time. Just continue to listen, learn, and value the people around you and you will see God work!