Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Summer 2010 Listening - Taylor

Hardly any of us can land on a different planet - say perhaps where all the people there have purple skin - and gauge their response. It's kind of like the time I arrived in the Dominican Republic to a group of elementary school kids chanting the phrase "Chino, chino, chino!" over and over - and then laughing uproariously. My hosts explained, "You are probably the first Asian they have ever seen." Oh, thanks for the clarification.

We listened to Tayest tell us about her recent opportunity that was similar. Her trip to Zimbabwe included traveling to a village where no white skinned people had ever visited. Using a digital camera to show people their faces for the first time. Showing the Jesus film in a native tongue. Running a kids school program for 800 kids. Sex ed class for teenage girls with 15 minutes notice. Giving kids pencils and them not knowing what they were for.

You probably can guess this - Taylor doesn't have purple skin. In fact, her skin is white - suburban white, she would probably say. Up until a little while, she had a worldview that was about the same - centered around nice yards, getting a good education and making a good life for yourself. Something changed in there though and the next few summers found her traipsing the world giving herself to bigger things. It might have been a new awareness of the world, the Ghost marking her heart, friends that promised to not live ordinary lives anymore. Whatever it was, we are better for it.

You might not be able to land on a different planet. Then again, you might.

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