All God’s Kids

We walked through the oriental looking archway into a different world last Tuesday afternoon. We were in San Francisco and visited China Town. The streets encompassed by this culture set a different tone to the city. The pace seemed quickened, the dress and attire somewhat different, the people were even more friendly than the city in general.
One of the places we visited was a little eating establishment recommended by a friend of ours. When you enter you literally walk right into the kitchen where they are preparing the food. After a little confusion we were sent up a set of stairs and then another set to find a collection of tables with wooden stools to sit on.
We were given menus and we both ordered something that sounded good and somewhat familiar. We received our food and began eating only to discover at least half way through our meal that I was eating what TruDee ordered and she was eating what I had ordered. I think I got the better end of the deal.
The interesting part of our meal for me is that we were not given silverware. I suppose I could have asked for some but I didn’t. The lady waiting on us simply placed chop sticks on the table and walked away. I am not an accomplished chop stick user. I tried to watch a young woman across from us to learn, but I was unable to use them with the ease she did. But we struggled through and finished our meals. It was not easy, but it was worth it to be immersed in the culture for a time.
I loved the diversity there, not only in China Town but in San Francisco in general. You never knew what language you may be listening to, different styles of dress, different folks all around. It made me sad to think of all the bigotry and prejudice that can raise its ugly head so often in our country.
I have to wonder if part of that comes from an unwillingness on our part to truly seek to understand, to truly immerse ourselves in someone else’s culture, lives, society so as to walk in their shoes for a time if you will. It seems to me too often we choose to isolate the “other,” those who are different than us rather than genuinely get to know them. Those who are different than us; different in belief, in culture, in language, in life style, they are still God’s children; they are just different than me. I think God loves diversity and difference, it makes for a much more colorful and engaging world.
Take some time this week to get to know someone who thinks differently than you, really get to know them. Who knows, you might both learn something.

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