Sunday we had a teaching on community. The bane of the Christian church and I would guess, from what I little I have seen, all religions (and politics for that matter) in general.
However, Jeanine and I have seen community hard at work here. When we moved to India we came with very little. Basically we had the clothing we could carry on our backs and a couple of laptops. We don’t speak the language and don’t know much about the area.
So here we were with the empty shell of an apartment trying to figure out what to do. Well the community of NBCC came together to help us. We had people over to help clean, people to help us shop which includes much negotiation, people to help us set up, people to help us cook (cooking is different here), people just to encourage us and people to help with the service men.
Jeanine and I came over here and just kind of fit right in, a bit of our flexibility and a large portion of God’s grace. It is weird to me that Christians can’t get along and we want to nit-pick about odd things, like when and how Christ will return, or when and how to baptize someone, or what kind of music to use at service.
Jesus said when queried about the scriptures the most important thing was to Love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-40
I have seen that in action, be it ever so small, here in India. The focus is not on our differences but on the common goal of helping Jeanine and I get established, building friendships and growing in our love for the Lord. I for one have had to learn to be flexible, I have had to really focus in on what is really important and what is not, I have had to learn to be very dependent on others for help and not be afraid to ask for it. On the flip side of that I have had to learn to really only ask when I need it not when I want it.
Jeanine and I are very different here, the way we use words, the way we see things, how we act. But we are learning to be more gracious, patient and forgiving. We are focused on the common ground we have with the people here.
They are really no different than anywhere else. They sleep, they rise up, go to work to try and provide food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families.
It’s different over here but the same. Like the sugar I had on my oatmeal this morning, not the small tiny grains like in the US, but somewhat large chunks maybe a 16th inch square. Still sugar, but different.
I pray the world would focus more on the sweetness that we have in common and less on the differences.
This is about 4 square inches of sugar.