Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beautiful People

We have natural inclinations that mislead us when we are looking at people outside of our own culture. Our discomfort with change overwhelms our better senses, and we are quick to judge. In our own self righteousness we believe our own culture is the best culture.

Overcoming this bias is the most important part of really digging into foreign cultures. I have so much to learn from cultures that are not our own. Not only about different ways to do things, but also about ourselves. Throw everything you know and appreciate into the air, and you quickly discover things that are important to you.

The world is a beautiful place. God designed us to be all different colours, shapes and sizes. We speak an unfathomable amount of languages, each with their own cadence, town and rhythm. We are a beautiful Symphony, each section with its own important role to play. Take one out, and the music is hollow, robbed of its beauty.

There is universal beauty. Children singing, dancing, laughing. Hospitality overflowing from people who have so little to give, but give nonetheless. Parents beaming with pride as their children read, write and dance. People who are alive with the Holy Spirit, their eyes dancing with the joy contained within.

Every culture has its own beauty. From the outside it looks ugly, nonsensical and useless. But to a well trained, open eye, there is beauty in the nuances. Moments of intentional happenstance which tell a deeper story flowing through the depths of society.

Yet we get in the way. We speak when we should ask questions. We judge when we should love. We long for home instead of being present in the moment. Ultimately, we're too busy looking for the mundane when there is a masterpiece before us.

I have been blessed to have met so many wonderful, beautiful people here in Kolkata. Young women who have been given a second chance on life after sex trafficking. Young missionaries who have given up everything to follow God's calling. Children who are enrolled in school and reading for the first time. Lives changed.

It's beautiful.

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