3.20.2011

I am a foreigner

In America we often think of anyone that is different as a "foreigner". They are from another country and are either visiting or have recently made America their home. Well, I have grown up as a child being the foreigner... As a child I grew up having little black children touching my skin and fingering through my blond silk hair, completely mesmerized by me. I was like a doll in the store. I looked like them but yet was so different. It continued all through my time in Africa. As I got older I didn't mind it so much. I realized that I was probably the first white person they had ever seen and that was quite a shock to some of them :)

Fast forward 13 years... I am a foreigner again. I walk through streets being the only "white" face, blond hair and blue/green eyes. I see the glances.. trying to figure out what it is that is different about me and yet still trying not to stare. It seems like it would be lonely and some days it is, but it also is kind of nice. No one is comparing me to anyone. No one is expecting anything particular out of me... I'm just me.

Last night we went to Itewon, near the military base. It was a sad sight. Suddenly there were hundreds of Westerners all trying to stand out and be individualistic in a culture that values a group over an individual. They were loud, boisterous and obnoxious in a culture that values simplicity and reserve. I heard all about their last drunken party, who they wanted to be in bed with and what the latest movie they saw was... I was embarrassed. These are the people that I am to be associated? Suddenly I didn't want to be a foreigner anymore. I wanted to be a native. Walking through the crowds listening to a Brit use the F word 12 times in a sentence and groups of girls getting ready to party it up and give more away than they probably will ever realize... this is what my generation is about.

Everyone talks about how bad their generation was... the 60s, the 70s etc. Well, My generation is all about the NOW. What feels good right now... there are no consequences, good or bad, for their actions. As I looked into the faces of my peers it hurt my heart. They were so empty... searching for love, confidence, self-esteem and affirmation. But not thinking about the end results of their actions.

I am a foreigner... both in my skin color and also in who I am. I am married to a man who has my whole heart. We have promised our lives to each other and come what may, we are determined to last any storm that comes. Our choices today affect who we will be in the future. We are who we are because of Christ and not because of anything we "find in ourselves" or in anyone else. We are foreigners on this earth...

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

~Ephesians 2 (NIV)

I hope you have a blessed and wonderful Sunday! Love to all...

3 comments:

S. Lashley said...

Very well written, Jennifer. A good way to start my 'Sunday mind'. Have a good Sunday too!

Ted & Jen said...

Thought provoking. Hope you have a good Sunday, Jenny.

Kimberly said...

good thoughts!
we don't know each other, but have mutual friends, and somehow i came onto your blog...enjoying hearing about your new adventures. Blessings!