I recently attended a wedding and was seated at a table with many of my good friends. It just so happened that I was the only Caucasian person at the table – all of my friends were Asian-American. Working with Epic and being married to a Chinese-American man, this is not an uncommon occurrence. I may not have even noticed, except that something quite extraordinary happened that brought it to my full attention.
It came time for the wedding attendees to toast the bride and groom. All the tables began to prepare by distributing the sparkling cider that had been placed squarely in the center of each one. At some point, it dawned on me that the bottle was not within my reach and I had just started to wonder how I should go about getting my glass filled.
At that moment, I looked up and realized that a dance was already happening around me. A dance in which everyone knew the steps and their part without a word being spoken. I watched as glasses were being passed seamlessly around, including mine, until everyone’s was filled and placed before them. Before I had even fully processed that I had a need, it was already being met.
In Epic, we talk about how every culture reflects part of God and how, if we only experience one, we are missing out on experiencing different aspects of God that are reflected in cultures other than our own. At this wedding, I received a visible representation of this truth and instantly saw the Lord’s character reflected in the mindset of my friends.
I was thinking about my own glass. Everyone else was conscious of the needs of the group and was working together to make sure that those needs were met. I am quite sure that, if Jesus had been at my table, he would’ve been participating in the dance of glasses happening around me. How like the Lord, to anticipate our needs and be arranging to meet them even before we are aware that we have them!
I’m not sure anyone else at the table processed this. In fact, I’m certain they didn’t – to them, it was just normal and routine. I noticed it because it is different from me and stood in contrast to my Anglo, individual way of thinking and living.
I love this, and I need this. I need to be in places where I can see and receive His love through my interactions with people that are different from me. Otherwise, I would miss out on the beauty of a culture that sees the needs of the people around them and works to silently meet them. I would miss out on seeing a visible representation of the God who is working to meet our needs even before we know we have them.
November 1st, 2012 at 3:37 pm
Thanks for writing… we need to hear more examples like this one!
November 3rd, 2012 at 10:12 pm
Thanks so much, Adrian! Always appreciate you and your thoughts.
November 4th, 2012 at 8:46 pm
loved reading this 🙂
November 4th, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Thanks so much Rachel!
November 5th, 2012 at 9:01 pm
Very good for my heart as well since I’m in an Asian American marriage with AA inlaws. Very sharpening for me to see what is beautifully silent rather than just the silence that can sadden me.
November 5th, 2012 at 9:54 pm
Thanks for reading, Amy! It is easy for me to focus on the difficulties of crossing cultures (particularly in family dynamics), but it is wonderful when there are so many glimpses of beauty. So many things I’d miss out on if God hadn’t put me where I am right now!