cross-culture thoughts

Posted: November 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

I ran out for groceries yesterday morning.  When I got home, Erik (friend and homeowner of our current “community” residence) called down the stairs.  “Uh…you got some mail from The Grave Robbers.”  His voice was filled with joking uncertainty and I cracked up.  I had to wander upstairs to ask him if he thought maybe they should revamp their screening process for people who can live with them.  “If I didn’t know you as well as I do, I MIGHT think that,” he smiled.  Then he observed that since our home borders the cemetery, living here would be quite a strategic move for the friends of grave robbers.  Great point!

If you’re not familiar with the ministry of The Grave Robbers, you’re missing out.  I’ve only been to maybe half a dozen of their shows, but my G knows them better – well enough that they made a long road trip from Kentucky to attend our wedding.  These are people worth knowing. 

The package contained a ministry DVD and we’ve been checking it out tonight. It is packed full of information from all sorts of subculture ministries.  Those of you who have been around for a lot of years will perhaps understand how watching this is making me homesick for Cornerstone Music Festival.  An awesome abundance of mohawks, liberty spikes, piercings, dramatic makeup, leather, tattoos, motorcycles, skateboards, surfboards, and very loud, screamish music.  Of course it is all flavored richly with faith, which makes it super fun.

Anyway.  The point I’m headed toward today:  one of the ministries featured is a surfer ministry.  I had kind of an out-of-body moment when I realized:  it seems to be based in Africa.  Ummm.  Oh!  YEAH!  Africa DOES have tons of beach, doesn’t it?  I mean, I guess I always KNEW that it does.  But I promise you, never once in my life has it occurred to me that there might be African surfers…or Indian surfers…basically, my Very ‘Merican perspective led me to just think about California or Florida or maybe Hawaii when I thought of surfers.  We are really, really bad in this culture about forgetting that we here in America the USA are not actually the whole world.  We watched a long section of the DVD with subtitles.  Oh, yeah…everyone DOESN’T speak English.  I need to be reminded of this again?!

Last week I saw a weird piece on the internet about a photographer in Japan who finds couples who have just met in bars and nightclubs , takes them back to his studio, and has them pose inside shrink wrap for strange artistic couple photos.  First of all, the whole idea almost gave me a panic attack (NO you cannot EVER wrap me in shrink wrap, even without a partner!) but I could hardly even get to processing THAT part, because my mind got stuck on:  Japanese people go out and get picked up in bars?  Apparently a large part of my brain is still in third grade and thinks everyone in foreign countries lives in old-timey ways. 

I get very tired of my selfish self, you know?  The me who can’t imagine that people who aren’t like me are people at all.  The me who forgets that such people even exist.  The me who cannot process the notion that people on the other side of the planet can have different language but so many similarities to us here on this side.  I have grown a lot in the past ten years, on this front.  Still, it seems I am just barely getting started on the journey of being a resident of all of planet earth, rather than just a girl from Western Illinois.

It took me 47 years to get this far.  I wonder if I have enough years left on earth to really grasp this? 

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your awareness is just where God wants you to be at. It isn’t like most people on the other side of the world are aware of your existence. Give grace to yourself just as long as you don’t settle for God’s complete will for your life. Great blog once again.

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