I've realized that many of my American values and virtues are really causing me to struggle in loving people correctly here. Brad and I laugh at just HOW different Chinese and American cultures are. We've decided that we do have a few things in common, like: eating, breathing, sleeping and loving. And even those are executed a little differently.
We are joined in our language class by mostly other Asian nationalities. As I sit in class and observe, my American tendencies creep up and I begin to get really frustrated with them. They are all wonderful people, just different. As an American, I value indepence and struggle with authority. Here are just a few examples of what I mean from our classes:
1. Everyday, I sit on the floor before class to study. And EVERYDAY, my classmates and teachers tell me that it's bad for me. My internal response "it's none of your business." Yet they are simply trying to care for me.
2. Then, they open the door and tell me "come in, come in, the door is open." My internal respone "yes, i can see the door is open and i will come in when i want to come in." Yet they are simply trying to love me.
3. The teacher comes in and the other students rush to make her tea and clean the chalk board for her. My internal response "you are just kissing up. Sit down and mind your own business." Yet they are simply serving their authorities and being kind to the teacher.
4. The teacher told me that I shouldn't eat bread for breakfast, but eggs. It's a pregnancy thing, they think. My internal response "she wants me to eat eggs, funny....now I want to eat more bread for breakfast." Yet she is simply trying to help.
My independence has been disgusting to me this week. So many times, our American evaluation of a situation gets in the way of simply loving people. I am so focused on my own rights or feelings that I am neglecting those around me. Independence is fine, but can also really effect our views of love and community. I could go on with this forever....but will wait for future blogs.
For whatever reason, the Lord has made my internal monologues really loud. And they are sickening to me. I want the voices to stop and the simple act of loving to start.