Tuesday, February 26, 2013

From The Land Of Blue

I heard a story that speaks to one of the aspects of being a missionary, especially to our children. Here it goes.

One day a man from the Land of Blue heard about another country.  It was a country full of people that did not know the truth about God.  It was a country that needed help.  It was a country full of people that were hurting spiritually and physically.  The man from the Land of Blue felt God working in his heart, so he responded and became a missionary.  He went to the Land of Yellow.

The man stood out.  He was blue.  His thoughts, mannerisms, and worldview were all blue.  He evaluated things by their blueness.  He was in the land of yellow.  The people were totally different than he was.  They had different systems.  They had values that did not reflect the values of Blueness  From the way that they responded to authority to the way that they crossed the street, they did it differently than it was done in the Land of Blue.  The missionary stood out.  He was different.  He knew it.  So did everyone else.

He stayed the course.  He knew God had called him, so he adapted.  The truth of God remained the same, but he started crossing streets like the people in the Land.  As time progressed, he not only adapted to the culture of the Land of Yellow, he grew to appreciate many aspects of it.  One day he looked in the mirror and saw something that he had never realized. He grabbed an old photo and compared it with what he was seeing.  It was undeniable.  He was no longer Blue.  He had been influenced and changed by his life in the Land of Yellow. He was now green.

He still stood out.  He was different.  He was not Yellow and all could see that.  However, he was not longer Blue.  He was a changed man.

Then, after time, he went back to the Land of Blue.  His mission call was over. 
He had a problem.  All around him it was blue.  They drove like blue people, crossed the street like blue people and thought like blue people.  They were blue people. 

He was no longer a man of Blue in the Land of Yellow.  Nor was he a man of Blue in the Land of Blue.

He was Green.  He did not fit in the Land of Yellow.  He did not fit in the Land of Blue.  He was some of both, and neither of both. 

That is how I feel when I go to the States.  I am a changed man.  I hope for the better, but I cannot deny that my life and experiences here have changed me.  I see that much of what I have done/believed are simply the way Blue people do it...not necessarily the way God does it or they way that all countries should do it.  It is just Blue.

I am Green.  My children are Green.

The literal way to describe this in mission thought is 'Third Culture'.  There is our culture of origination.  There is the culture of our mission.  Then, there is a mix of the two.  My kids are third culture kids.  We don't 'fit'. 

It is weird.  No points to make today, just a nice story describing something that happens to missionaries.


linda said...

Nicely put. And yes, our children being TCK really feel mixed colors, not even a true "green"
Love that God is ALL colors and LOVES all colors.

peruzings said...

Aliens and strangers... I'm okay with that. We're in good company.

Adriana Mattica said...

Thank you. Just wanted to let you know that we are using this story as the inspiration for our kids and youth ministry at our upcoming missionary family retreat here in Honduras. All of our activities have to do with blending of colors in some way. We have 92 kids ages 0-18 who will be there. Praying this speaks to them in the same way it has to me and my kids. You can check out our ministry at www.honduranfellowship.org