Those who know me best are well aware that I don’t shy away from conflict. Though I don’t seek out arguments, I’m not put off by them, and I don’t back away from them. In fact, I think sometimes arguments and disagreements are some of the most healthy conversations we can have. They make us better. They give us new perspective. If we’re truly listening and engaging in the conversation, they can persuade us to change our minds, or they can help us solidify our point of view.
Racist assumptions come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they show up in subtle ways, and sometimes they show up wearing a white hood. Most often, they are couched in attitudes and platitudes that let the racists off the hook, while attempting to validate the bigotry bubbling beneath the surface.
A few years ago, I began a journey through the bible that forever altered my view of scripture. I had always held the bible in high esteem, but this adventure caused me to dig into it in a completely different way I ever had before.
The premise was simple. Every day for a year, I would read several chapters of the bible, then I would blog my thoughts and response to what I read. This wasn’t an in-depth study or a theological thesis. This was a daily reflection – sometimes pretty raw and unprocessed – on the words of scripture as I read them that day.
I did it again. Once more, my first activity of the day, before coffee, shower, or even getting out of bed, was to fire up my phone and check in on all the activity that happened while I was sleeping. Perhaps you do the same. Yes, I’ve read the articles warning of the negative consequences of this habit, but like so many vices, I continually fail to heed the warnings.
What is life like in Kenya? Well, yesterday, I filled two pitchers with water in just over an hour. Mind you, I didn’t have to walk for miles to get the water like so many people here, but from the time I decided to fill the pitchers to the time they were filled, the big hand on the clock made a full revolution. Here’s my version of the events (and there’s no one here to refute me).
Being a missionary is hard work. Everybody knows that. But the things we think of as the hard parts – lack of modern amenities, exposure to disease, and the like – only begin to scratch the surface of the difficulties of real missionary life. Often, it is the things left unsaid that really begin to erode the passion and soul of a missionary. Here are just a few of those things…