Though the change in climate, elevation, and air quality was a bit of an insult to our lungs, other than some tummy discomfort and chest colds to get over, we’ve been doing fairly well. Dad’s job is going great. We’re enjoying the local food. The kids have made friends and spend their afternoons playing football (soccer) outside. And much about the culture here is similar to that in India, so things have been familiar and comfortable. Our adjustment here, for the most part, has been easier, and good. Until today.
When we first arrived, locals seemed to love us. New and different is exciting, and the neighbors seemed to welcome us warmly. But, we’ve been here a few weeks already, and new is wearing off, and now we’re just different; and something inside of us all is inclined to fear, be skeptical of, unable to relate to, and even prejudice toward different. We look different. We speak different. We raise our kids differently and show affection for one another differently. We eat different food. We serve different food. We even eat at different times. We relate to others differently. We decorate our home differently. We school our kids differently and they play differently. The things we talk about, care about, and value are different.
Today we became aware of several complaints against our family. We had even been asked to keep the kids in the house. And on top of being different and not from here, we have a large family; and that’s different too (even among our own people), and it precludes us from some things, and today, I just feel out of place. And we are.
And I remember this phase in India. And not everyone grew to love us, but we did become and remain friends with several. Eventually, differences become familiar and tolerable, and as relationships grow you begin to understand, accomodate, and sometimes even appreciate the differences.
It will take some time.
And though I sometimes wish that people understood how hard all of this is; because surly then days like today would cease… we will continue to press on, and press in. And I’m thankful for these opportunities that grow us in tolerance, patience, and adaptability; That lead me down a trail to remember the blessing that our family is in so many ways. And I am excited for what I believe will come; good friends and beautiful testimonies. And when I’m feeling homesick and out of place, I’ll soon remember where my hope is, and I’ll look to the One who sees me.