Crossing Over Cross-Cultural Barriers Of All Mankind Takes More Than Language!
To all people who have been taken away from their home towns into their wilderness of the unknown …
To all people who have had to leave and cleave to the driest places they’ve ever been in their lives…
To the ones who have stepped out in faith for their calling to follow the Lord Jesus Christ blindly at the cost of their own sacrifice of all the familiar, known, and years of planned prosperity and possession…
To the ones who feel strangers more than any acts of kindness can satisfy, no matter how hard they try to fit in or be understood in one of the corner’s of the earth across from mine…
To the ones who got weary from travel ideas and finding comfortable thoughts in settling for less and struggling because of loss and feelings of displacement and detachment ….
To the ones who miss friends, family and people they barely knew just by watching Facebook photos or watching local TV till it aches and silence keeps them from expressing any affections to loved ones with a bit of regretting emotion….
To the ones who are fighting a new fight of finding themselves incapable, inefficient and incomprehensible to the world around them trying to raise themselves up from point zero to point negative…..
I am writing this sincerely to tell you that you’re not alone! Not only so, but as well as remind you that you are where you are now because of something big, huge and intense about your life and about holding the future of the world. You are so entrusted with the DESTINY of another NATION. You’ve been prepared for this. God has pulled your wings out to stretch it further and further to push you on that edge to fly. It’s TIME to spread your wings and soar in the UNKNOWN. Don’t try to walk the distance, you were made to use those wings to conquer the air. Your limit is the sky.
1Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
So here’s a traveler, a storm, water, a drift, an island, a welcome and a new culture! Yep. He’s busted!
As I was listening to the audio bible on my YouVersionBible this morning, I kept repeating the whole chapter of Acts 28 over and over again. What caught my attention the most is the part which says they welcomed him an unusual welcome after he had just survived a shipwreck with a bunch of other survivors from a storm where all of a sudden he found himself on an island, Malta, which obviously had some islanders – probably some tribal primitive inhabitants – and he might have got the famous “I like it to move it movie it, Madagascar song” sorta welcome. And while they celebrated the warmth of the welcome under the rain adjusting the fire, Paul had a poisonous snake swirl around his arm escaping the fire. Immediately the islanders thought he was the bad guy! Yet minutes ago, they thought he was favored by a god to survive a storm and shipwreck. But anyway the snake didn’t harm him so again he was a God to them, AGAIN!
A new culture is definitely a sensitive zone to fit for the mix. Quite messy in communication as well as every thought that runs in your head has “What To Expect” label on it for the action preparation that follows it. It’s just messy to keep building on and on in that loop of completely UNKNOWN gaps for any situation.
But Paul did great! He did great because God SENT HIM, nothing less or more he could’ve done except what God has done, He has blown the wind, moved the wreck and took the islanders to where Paul is on the shore, because God simply had an unfathomable plan for that trip and that land!
Did he understand a word they said? maybe yes, maybe not! Did he know their customs and traditions? Probably not, they were obviously so pagan! FYI, Paul was raised up in a Synagogue, so he was a fanatic religious dude! He had no idea whatsoever what those guys believed in, talked about, celebrated in, and he probably was stuck in communication with them being clueless about what their intentions were. But God made them in awe of Paul when the venom didn’t affect him at all. God changed their minds about him.
What is it with Paul that makes him so perfect with God and in such deep understanding to endure all the friction of standing in the gap between people and God. He stood in front of danger, cultural barriers and even misjudgments within the borders of every city he passed through and was welcomed and treated with immense kindness. He faced different beliefs that perplexed him and confused him for sure. He met new mindsets he has never encountered before, minds that couldn’t understand, eyes that couldn’t see and ears that couldn’t hear or perceive a word he said about the King of the Most High. Paul was definitely the MAN to endure a lot of hostility and maltreatment from people who prior given him warm hospitality. He was so loving, persistent loving, and pressing on to pray for his haters and persecutors.
To me, persecution, doesn’t have to be in violence or religious hostility as much as it’s in a system that doesn’t know how to embrace and contain your being. A system of people that can’t realize who you are. A system of laws that kill your longings and dreams. But I know of someone better who beats the ruler of that system. I know someone who’s got it all under control. He who can embrace and contain every particle and molecule of our being. The pain is not yours to carry, it’s His. It’s a pretty big chance that the pain is not yours but someone else’s and you need to share so you can CROSS OVER the barrier of CULTURE with the Love of the CROSS and the unconditional eternal love of JESUS CHRIST.
So get up, shake the dust off of you and rise up like a KING and search the horizons, and run like one who will jump of a cliff madly to SOAR and FLY TO FETCH SOULS!