I have been somewhat of a slacker on my blog as of late. Orlando Florida took my attention away from blogging. But, now it is off to India in about 25 minutes.
I will be speaking (teaching and preaching) more than 20 times in 12 days, as well as leading meetings- many of them. Sometimes folks ask if shifting cultures is difficult and speaking to folks in very different stations of life is hard to develop. I don't really think about it that way. Is the culture different? Certainly! Noticeably! It is more than just language and custom. There is a hidden understanding that is rarely acquired by education and familiarity.
Having said that, I will drop the idioms from my speaking for the sake of translation. I will be sensitive to matters of culture and custom. I am aware of the differences in dealing with gender and money and perception of the west and western church. I am familiar with some of the hidden differences that I will never fully understand. But, at the end of the day, I never cease to marvel at the similarity of people- the sin condition, longing for health and God, struggle with temptation, wounding of relationships, need to understand and live out holiness in every context. I am amazed more by our similarities than our differences. That is why I will use "brother" and "sister" much. That is how close we become in Christ.
Don't shy away from your neighbor who is different. They are more similar than you would think.