You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘diversity’ tag.

The other day during a church discussion, we ended up talking about spending time with people who are different from ourselves.  One woman lived for a while in Hawaii.  In college, I had professors from all over the world.  After college, I worked with students from Malaysia and South Korea. There were times I was the only native English speaker in a room of over 50 people.  I also worked a pow wow for several years.

“We haven’t all gotten to travel like you.”

What?  No.  I was here.  In Missouri.  Missouri is not known for its diversity.

After the discussion, our minister stopped me.  “People who are different from I am fascinate me,” he said.  “I want to learn all about them.  I think you’re the same way.”

I laughed because when I was little, my grandmother would let me older cousins take all us kids across the street to play in the park.  When it was time to go home, they’d often have to fetch me because I was off playing with “the new kids.”  Often these kids were recent Mexican immigrants and didn’t yet speak English.  That didn’t faze me, tag was tag!

Before you decide you don’t have any opportunities to meet a wide variety of people, look around you.  God gives us a wide variety of opportunities.  Me? I’m always on the lookout for someone new and fascinating.

–SueBE

I saw the best overheard quote today.  Apparently, a mother was heard telling her daughter, “You aren’t really helping someone if you aren’t helping them in the way they asked you to.”

What does that have to do with justice?  We as a society have a tendency to decide how other people should live. Why don’t they leave the reservation and have a good life?  Why don’t they give up their traditional dress and dress like us?  Why don’t they do it our way?  Be like us, do like us, and you’ll get the help we’ve decided you need.

About a year ago, we had a fantastic speaker at church.  He discussed the workings of the Presbyterian Church USA in Egypt.  Before they offered any help whatsoever, they opened a neighborhood center.  They talked to people.  And when I say talked, I mean that they listened.  They got to know the neighbors.  Only when they had a feel for those they were among did they ask what help was needed.  And people came to them.

This wasn’t flying in clothing or food. This wasn’t a monetary donation.  This was getting to know people and their values and dreams, their worries and desires.  This was giving them what they truly wanted vs what we think they should want.  That’s a big part of social justice.

Diversity has a place and we have to learn to honor that even as we give them the help they want.

–SueBE

 

Helping others.  I’m all for it.

But I have to admit that I prefer social justice to charity.  What’s the difference?  I can feed someone today or they can feed themselves for a lifetime.

That said, it can still be tricky because the solution has to work for them, not for me.  Telling them to do things my way may not work.  That means that I have to trust them to know what they need.

We live in a land settled by a variety of people.  They weren’t all farmers or fisherman.  Life has never been one-size-fits-all.  God created us in spectacular diversity.

Just a little food for thought as you wave the Red, White and Blue.

–SueBE

I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about parenting, probably because yesterday was Father’s Day.  For me, one of the toughest things about being a parent has been letting him be his own person.

I wish he was neater.

I’d love a kid who loves crafting as much as I do.

Hunting?  Ugh.

But there are amazing aspects to his personality too.  He may not care if his surroundings are perfect, but he’s forgiving.  People don’t have to be perfect either.

Crafting is out but building and repairs are in. He’s reglued chairs, helped me paint and more.

He has no fear of being out in the forest.  Every little noise has me looking over my shoulder.  This is his space and he loves it.  And because of that he works to protect it.

Me, you, that kiddo who is technically an adult?  God created us all to be unique individual people.  The great thing about that?  We each have special skills, concerns and abilities.  He made us that way.  Celebrate the diversity in God’s creation!

–SueBE

Respect. Definitely something we need to spread throughout the world and in our local communities.

 

Open your heart. Open your eyes. 

See people with the love of God in your heart.

–SueBE

 

Open your eyes, your mind and your heart. You will be the richer for it. 

Cuturally, we have an open door at our house.  I don’t care where you are from.  Your religion?  I’m happy you have faith.  You are welcome here.

Mention this in front of white Christians, and you get the most “delightful” questions. I’m using delightful here the same way my Texas grandma used it.  Well, aren’t you just a delight.

Would you feel that way if you met a head hunter?  What about a cannibal?

I’ve never actually met either a head hunter or a cannibal.  But I have met a very wide range of people.  I’ve worked pow wows alongside people from the Native American Church.  I helped proctor a class with a professor who was a Baptist minister but had been honored by the Thai king for his work among Theravada Buddhists of Thailand.  I’ve lived with Muslim students.  Honestly, they made excellent room mates.

Don’t let your fear take you to extremes in your imagination.  Definitely keep your eyes and ears open.  But see people with the love of God. Not through your fear of the dark.

–SueBE

Archive

Have a Mary Little Christmas

%d bloggers like this: