"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than the known way.'" (Minnie Haskins)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another 'Safer than a Known Way' Sneak Preview

I am…
·         Christian
·         Reformed
·         Female
·         INFP (Meyer Briggs)
·         White
·         American
·         Army BRAT
·         Third Culture Kid
·         Baby in a Family of 5
·         Urban Community Developer/Organizer
·         Southern
            Single, but in a Relationship
·         5’2

I am distinctly me. And who I am – who God created me to be – impacts and even colors how I perceive the world around me. To fully understand my actions and my words, you must fully understand me – what lies at the core of who I am. And the same goes for you. For me to communicate well with you, I need to put myself in your shoes – take the time to look at things not only through how I perceive things, but to see things through your eyes as well. I find that much of my misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and misassumptions come from my failure to look at the world through other people’s eyes.

And to my surprise this impacts even the smallest of things. Did you know that text books and even the questions on standardized tests are written largely by white people? The wording of these questions connects with children raised in cultures similar to the authors putting children raised in my neighborhood at a slight disadvantage. We need an educational system that sees the unique and adapts for the uniqueness of each child.

And because I work for Robert (Bob) Lupton[i], I frequently get calls from all around the country seeking advice on how the caller can implement what we do in his/her neighborhood. I attempt to lay out what we do in the context of my unique neighborhood all the while explaining the importance of listening to residents, getting to know every aspect of the community, and – most importantly – praying for wisdom and discernment. And I also attempt to share that if the person does not fit the typical profile of the community, he/she needs to be extremely aware of the differences between his/her perspective and that of the community.

I am at awe with how when Jesus interacted with folks while on earth He spoke directly to where each individual was. I think about how He called His disciples to how he spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well to how He handled the Pharisees. Oh how I pray for discernment from my Lord to truly see each person who crosses my path.

Love, Christy
Not on the list in my letter, but probably should be - Worrier/Controller in Re-covery. Time Freak.

[i] Robert Lupton is well-known and respected in the Christian Community Development world.

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