Saturday, April 19, 2008

7th Grader at Heart?

As I sat in a little restaurant listening to American music, speaking only English and looking at a half dozen other white faces I felt so out of place. This week I got to take a little “vacation” to Cuenca (a more modern city about 5 ½ hours away). There you can find all sorts of things that you can’t find in Loja… for example: a mall, Burger King, a latin version of Walmart, and lots of foreigners.
One such foreigner asked me what I did and I explained a little about what I do in Loja. With a hint of animosity he said, “You’re not Mormon are you?” I tried to explain that I was just a Christian to which he responded, “I thought everyone here was already Catholic?” I found myself shrinking back; ashamed of who I was and more importantly WHOSE I was. To say the least, I said very little after that about why I’m here and the things that I love.
As I sat in my bed that night I was tore up by what I didn’t say more than what I did say. I felt the shame of a 7th grader when your mom walks through the doors of the gym wearing slippers and a robe screaming your name and waving your lunch. I thought I’d gotten past that in my Christian walk. I thought that I was somehow grown up and ready to scream at the top of my lungs about Jesus. But in that moment I felt like Peter swearing that he didn’t know the Creator of the Universe… this week someone reminded me about Paul asking the Galatians to pray that he would preach the Word boldly as he should. If he was asking for prayer in this area, he too must have struggled with the temptation of shrinking back in fear. So I guess that means at some point we are all just a scared 7th graders afraid of rejection…

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