Precious in His Sight

During Christmas last year, I found myself in a peculiar conversation. Let me recollect the incident for you,

Dave and I ventured off for what we hoped to be the “last Costco run” before Christmas. While Dave was at the self-checkout, I walked through to the end of the aisle where an employee began to chat with me. I love a conversation with “new friends,” so I smiled behind my mask and he started to ask me about the protein drinks that we were buying. So I convinced him to try them. He then proceeded to tell me that he appreciated that I knew the rules of a single person standing at the checkout. I nodded and responded, “I know how it works because I probably spend too much time here.” We both laughed, and I thought that was a nice way to end the conversation as Dave was almost done. However, he then went on to comment on an ethnic family who didn’t know the rules, as “they” were all crowded around the cash register and that he wished “those” people would know the rules.

At that brief moment, I had to make a decision. To stay quiet, hide behind my mask, or say something to enlighten him. I chose the latter. I appealed to his compassion for humanity and simply said that perhaps they did not know or understand the rules. He quickly said yes, you are right and changed the subject. We walked away, and I wondered if his perspective had changed his words, thoughts or behaviour based on our small conversation that day.

During the Regional Gathering, Adam Kline shared a Dr. Michelle Ami Reyes webinar: “Being the Intercultural Body of Christ.” In the introduction of her book “Becoming All Things,” I was immediately drawn to her comment about “blending in seamlessly” and “becoming a chameleon.” I feel like I have done this all my life and suppressed my Fijian roots to appease others and other groups. However, I have learned to transform easily between different ethnic groups, and as I serve with ICCM, I have recognized this skill as a strength.

Dr. Reyes also writes about longing to be known, understood and valued for who we are as Christ has created us as His children. Regardless of our ethnic background, cultural orientation, family history and experience, we all have a deep desire to be known, understood and valued.

Whether you are a Fijian Canadian, Irish Canadian, Chinese Canadian or any other ethnic group, can we enlarge our traditional space to include all voices and hear different perspectives to come together in unity as Christ exemplified throughout the bible?

How can you be part of an ongoing conversation to navigate difficult conversations much like my Costco experience? I would encourage you to pick up Dr. Reyes’ book and listen to her webinar that the IET hosted on May 25th. (Click here to access the webinar recording).  Contact me about more intercultural training for your church.

“Those who listen to her [Dr.Reyes] guidance will begin to see themselves differently and to interact with the world more effectively.”

This quote is my prayer for each and every one of us.

Paula Moriarity | ICCM Director