Stranger in a Strange Land

Today, I’m sharing why I love my new country…

stranger in a strange land

The shop lady is scrubbing the sidewalk in front of her store.

In front of us, a car backs up to give us room to cross the street.

On the subway, a recorded message says, “DEAR passengers, please stay clear of closing doors.”

My friend links her arm in mine as we walk down the street.

My friend’s son, age 11, says, “I love you. You are beautiful.”

At the restaurant, I ask for a sample of a certain fish. They bring me out a complete order and say, “Welcome to our country. No charge.”

On buses and subways, young men and girls often give me and other older people their seats.

At restaurants, a cup of tea is often complimentary after your meal.

It is still very important to use the formal, polite second-person plural in this language.

The bread man takes the trouble to teach me how to say, “I want one of the other kind.”

From the bus, I see a lady hanging out of her sixth floor apartment window – she’s washing it!

Half the grocery store is cleaning supplies of every kind.

If you attempt one word in their language, they give you a smile.

Time spent sitting, drinking tea, and conversing is still one of the most important diversions of the day.

Old people are helped everywhere by everyone.

I have been here a little over one year. There is still so much to learn. There are things that I do not like or enjoy here, but I choose to dwell on aspects that I do appreciate.

Maybe I do not love all the people yet, but I love the One who loves them. I pray His love will spill over from me to them…by His grace.

“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails….”  I Corinthians 13:3-8

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