Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Mall Walking Practice
Since the Rec center was closed, I spent 2 hours at Arizona Mills Shopping mall exercising yesterday. It is a large rectangle that can be walked in 18 to 20 minutes plus or minus weaving in and out of strollers and teens who insist on walking side by side down the walkway.
On this holiday weekend I saw Arizona normies out in force of every ethnic background, physical stature, size, and dress. Tall Muslim women with flowing robes, wheelchair bound people with disabilities, a huge slice of the hoi poloi. (people in mass).
I tried to see these people as Jesus saw the needy crowds during his ministry. I tried to simply love and accept the diversity of clothing styles, body shapes, and jewelry or tattoo adornments without judgement or condescension.
As a believer, I am not of them in a sense, but I am an ambassador to them, not trying to instantly demand that their culture fit and conform to mine. Could I see the real people behind the clothing and ornaments. Which is what missionaries have been taught to do since Christ came.
The sad tale of the English missionaries stopping the Hawaiians from being themselves and forcing them to dress and act like proper Englishman is one of the low points of evangelical history. And its a mistake that keeps many young people from entering the doors of a church everyday. There is a pharisee in me, and I need to tell him he is not in control of my eyes and the compassion needed to reach another alienated generation.