Remember how it feels…

“…a foreigner…”

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“Do not mistreat a foreigner; you know how it feels to be a foreigner, because you were foreigners in Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9)

A few years ago we transplanted some iris to a flowerbed running along the side of the church.  Each spring the same thing happens, we are treated to a gorgeous display of purple blossoms — with one stalk of yellow in the middle.  Proudly, the yellow iris stands as a foreigner in a purple land.

In Exodus the Lord reminds the Israelites that they, “know how it feels to be a foreigner.”  The memory of their own journey and the awareness of how it felt to be a foreigner would help guide them in their treatment of foreigners in their midst.  Too often we react or respond to another too quickly from our fear, judgment, bias, vengeance, etc.  The act of first remembering our own experiences and feelings, as well as wondering what it might be like to be in the other person’s shoes is an important check in the process.  It’s easy to hurt another when we forget what it was like to feel hurt.

I pray that God will help me remember and wonder.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on May 5, 2011.

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