Recently I’ve had to face an important element of my faith journey that my religious upbringing and theological studies did not prepare me for.
I rehearsed a handful of responses as I walked toward their car. Although I didn’t know them, I was certain that they were going to ask me for money. Lately I had been approached by a number of transients asking for help. Rather than constantly giving money, I made a practice of keeping snacks in my car to give to give to those who were hungry. But honestly, I found this to be tiresome, and was no longer doing it with a joyful heart.
As I left the building, I saw the transient couple sitting in the beat-up-Yugo that I had seen earlier. Not wanting to engage in conversation, I tried to make a quick break to my car….. but before I got too far, I heard someone call out to me. “Pastor John! Can we talk to you?”
One thing that I can always count on, when my suegra visits, is homegirl is going to “get-down” in the kitchen. That lady can cook like there is no tomorrow. And I…. let’s just say that I am 100% fine with that. However, the day after, I can literally hear my arteries crying, as they continue to process all the refined grease (manteca) and spices that we, Mexicans, like to indulge in.
As much as I might criticize my friend’s husband, the truth of the matter is that I too struggle with arrogance and pride. I too have a propensity to throw fits of cataclysmic proportions when things do not go my way. No matter how much I would like to deny it, I have a tendency to try to control people and situations through manipulative behaviors. Although, I have surrendered this vice to God, it still beacons for my attention.
I have a history of giving into shame. She’s a beast and my natural tendency is to let her have her way without putting up much of a fight. However, in that moment I felt something that I had not felt in a very long time…
As I walked away, I began to think about experiences that I’ve had since childhood. As a 3rd generation Mexican-American, I could only dream of people embracing my cultural uniqueness….