Sunday, June 21, 2015

Unity in Diversity

Lessons learned from my motorbike accident: Part 1

For those of you who don’t know, I was in a motorbike accident around the end of May, four days after my arrival to Thailand.  I fractured my shoulder in 6 places.  The Doctor wanted to give me surgery but due to the severity of the fracture they decided to let it heal on its own for a couple weeks because they were afraid if they opened me up they might have to replace the entire shoulder.  After the 2 week trial they were pleased with how well I was healing on my own and decided not to go through with the surgery! Praise God!

Through this process there have been so many lessons I have learned.  I will separate these lessons into different blogs so not to overwhelm you.  Being unable to write has killed me this month and so I have a lot of voice notes to listen through as I prepare to write about the things I have learned.  This is the first of those lessons so here we go. (In case you are wondering, yes Jonathan and Jacob have been great but I won’t mention them here because they are going to have their own special blog :)

God has been teaching me about unity over the past several months in particularly the universal church.  I want the church to move beyond denominational barriers and just work together to bring the gospel message to this unsaved world. Sometimes that seems so impossible but with God all things are possible.  This incident was just another example of that lesson.  Many people have been praying for me! Hundreds of people, people I don’t know, people coming out of the blue telling me, “I’m praying for you.” “My family is praying for you.” “My church is praying for you.” I have been just so encouraged by that! Through this situation I have learned a lesson in humility, and a new definition of love, acceptance, and caring that I never really understood before.

There are these three girls that I met during my first week in Thailand who are friends with Jonathan and Jacob.  Their names are Jessica, Carra, and Wor.  They have been so great! They came to the hospital to visit me. Wor spent the night with me in the hospital and translated for me.  They brought me clothes that would fit over my head and arms easier. They helped me bathe, wash my hair, helped me get dressed.  They didn’t even know me.  They were just acquaintances at the time. I want you to really understand what I’m saying here!!  THEY DIDN’T KNOW ME AND YET THEY HELPED ME BATHE AND GET DRESSED!! Talk about a lesson in humility! Of course we are all women but we are strangers to one another! They didn’t even know me for a full week and they WILLINGLY offered to help me! Just think about that for a minute.  Would you do that for a stranger? These girls helping me the way they have just gives me a glimpse of what unity in the universal church can and should look like and it all starts with the power of love. 

These days we have given love a different meaning.  We throw the word around carelessly like it’s something we can buy and then trade when “something better” comes along. But it’s a word that shouldn’t be used carelessly.  Love is sacrifice. Love is found in humility. Love is acceptance.  Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love is found in people that don’t even know you but help you carry your burdens and look for ways to encourage you during your difficult times.  Love is caring. Love is not boasting! These girls that helped me bathe and get ready are caring for me and they aren’t boasting about it, holding it over my head like I owe them, or making it seem like I’m an inconvenience.  They are doing it because the love of Christ is in them and they choose to share it. Love is sharing. Love is disregarding the things that don’t matter about people and helping someone become the potential that God has created them to be.  These girls have really shown me a truer definition of love.

I’m really grateful for what I’m learning.  It may be painful, inconvenient, frustrating, and depressing, but God is so good and I really thank Him that even through this difficult time and this trial He continues to show me things I need to learn.  I pray that I would be able to return the favor and wouldn’t take advantage of these people because love is not about taking advantage of people.  It’s not about using people yet that is what we have turned love into. 


God has shown me what is possible because of love.  I believe that unity is possible when we love one another. Recently, there has been a horrible hate crime that was committed at a church in Charleston, SC.  As heart breaking as this incident is, it is not nearly as heartbreaking as the hate and comparing of races I am seeing being thrown around on social media and well, the media in general!  The media is playing on our weakness and we are allowing for it to happen!  For over a year now I have watched the media influence a war between races and with each incident it grows even more hateful.  We as mankind should be influencing the media but instead we are allowing the media to influencing us!  We are imprisoned by their racial stereotypes! When we stop living them out things can and will change as a natural consequence!  It’s got to stop! We must forgive. We must love. Anyone can hate someone for the wrong they have done but it takes incredible strength to show love to a human being after they have done something so tragic.  “If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer.” ~Emma Watson

We are supposed to be the “United” States of America but instead we have become the “Racially Divided” States of America.  I have listened over and over again to Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and what is going on in America today is not what Dr. King had in mind! We have to stop comparing one another.  No race is superior to another! I am not really sure who decided white people would be the superior race and when that was decided but “newsflash” they aren’t so stop treating them in that way.  We are all the same and deserve to be treated as equal. We all bleed red blood when we are cut. We all suffer with heartbreak when someone hurts us.  We all feel lonely at times.  We all want to feel loved and belong. 

We should never forget our past because it helps us see how far we have come but we must stop living in our past! We need to stop perceiving race as two different sets of opposing ideals.  Let’s live in the freedom of the future and its possibilities, working to become the best dadgum loving, forgiving, and accepting people we can be!

You might be thinking, “Who is this white girl and what is she doing speaking about racism?” That’s a really good question and I must ask myself the same thing.  All I know is that I care about people.  I care about this problem.  I care about how it is hurting my country.  Having seen what I’ve seen, having experienced what I’ve experienced, having been the minority myself at certain times in my life, I feel like this is my chance, and my responsibility to say something.  “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke

Maybe you are feeling the same way.  Maybe you want to do something about it but you have similar doubts not knowing how, if you are qualified, or even when or where to start?  Well ask yourself this question.  If not me, who? If not now, when? The reality is that if we do nothing and let this continue we will end up destroying one another!

If you believe in equality then you believe in love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.  How hard is it to love?  How hard is it to choose kindness?  The Bible says, “A soft answer turns away wrath but harsh words stir up anger.”  “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.  People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~Nelson Mandela

Let’s disregard the things that don’t matter about people and start helping one another fulfill their God given potential for greatness, whatever that may look like! Let’s stop living in the past and start looking towards a better and brighter tomorrow!  Unity is possible. Unity is a choice! What will you choose?  Unity or division? Love or hate? Forgiveness or bitterness?


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