I thought I would write a blog as I sit in the back seat of a car going from one airport to another in Tokyo, Japan. This week has been one of those pinch me weeks. Experiencing not hours but days of travel to get from one destination to another I am reminded about just how small the world really is though. Sitting on a beach in Saipan and meeting a man from Spirit Lake, Iowa! Having a beer with a man from Bangladesh who has a passion for immigrant workers on Saipan and a deep love for his three daughters. The very same love I do for my three sons. Enjoying the true family atmosphere of the Chamorro and Carolinian people. What a week of experiences and…reminder of how much we at the heart of our humanity are the same.
I fulfilled this week what I have longed to do for years. As a young boy my grandfather would come back from his trips with wonderful pictures and fabulous stories from places in the world and I remember thinking I cannot wait to do that!! I also remember attending meetings of the travel group with Grandpa and hearing others tell their stories about far off places and the people who lived there. When listening to the stories I was always intrigued with the tales of the people and the cultures. Those stories were probably one of the reasons I perused my undergraduate in Sociology. Then, in college studying sociology and learning so much about peoples belief systems, families, and overall cultures.
I truly thank God for the opportunities I have had over the past ten years traveling around the United States, Canada, and now abroad. He has opened my heart to a love of people…His people…diverse and wonderful….fully created in His image. I can’t help but think how global we are becoming as a community. I also sit and imagine what the world would be like if we truly treated one another as Christ intended us to treat each other. Not the Christ who some believe founded the Republican National Committee. Not the Christ others would have us believe lived a hippie life just hanging around preaching love without a moral responsibility. But the Christ who cared for the poor, developed twelve nobodies, wept when his friend died, and told a woman who had been sleeping around to go and sin no more. The Christ my grandfather showed me in the people he loved from the various corners of the world.
Today I appreciate the lessons growing up even more. I appreciate having had instilled in me a desire to go out and see other people live. I appreciate being taught to allow others to show their love through their culture. I appreciate the people from my training who opened themselves up to trust me and step outside some of their cultural norms in the name of keeping people safe I appreciate working with people who feel the same way as I do about people. Tonight as I ride through Tokyo….I am simply filled with appreciation.