I may have mentioned in previous blog posts where I had read in a local publication that our little township of Morrisville was beginning to be called “Little India” because of the large and growing population of folks settling here from their homes in India. We have many neighbors of Indian descent. Over the year that we have been here I have had the great opportunity to learn about their culture and religious practices through our many interactions and some independent reading that I have done.
I guess it is a combination of my rich Christian background, my 100% Italian out-going-ness, and my people pleasing personality style that drives me to want to go out of my way to make any individual feel welcome, comfortable and special! I discovered that many of the folks in our apartment homes do not speak a lot, if any, English and converse amongst themselves in their native language and wear the traditional Indian attire such as the women’s Sari drape.
One thing I believe I’ve shared before is that I have learned to rein in our pooch when we pass during our daily walks. But, I have to say that since we are a regular sight on the meandering walkways of our community, that we are making headway. Many of the young parents will now stop, smile and point out our people loving and very gregarious dog to their young children. One or two have even encouraged their cute kids to pet her!
When we were out and about on our afternoon walk yesterday, we passed a young Indian woman on multiple occasions who was also out walking around the neighborhood. The first time we passed she smiled and slightly nodded her head. The second time she said hello and the third time she stopped and asked if the complex had a swimming pool. I felt bad as I was a little surprised when she actually stopped to talk to us and completely forgot about the dog who immediately snuck around me and pressed her wet nose against the women’s hand!
Well, that gal jumped about a foot as I yanked Mandie back and apologized! But the young lady stood her ground and smiled and explained that she was afraid of dogs. We talked for a short while, kept smiling and I tried to assure her that it was safe around Mandie. Then I gave her directions to the recreation center and we said our good-byes and continued in our opposite directions. As we walked away I bent down to Piper’s ear and said: “That was God!”
I felt like that seemingly insignificant interaction was a move of Papa God in our neighborhood! We have been praying for doors of opportunity and responded yesterday with joy at that little crack of an opening into the cultural differences that I believe have inhibited us from sharing with others in our community. To us it was a similar event as the shaking that occurred in the house where the disciples had gathered to pray after Peter and John’s one night prison stand and questioning by the religious leaders of their city.
Acts 4:31 reports that “When they had prayed, the place where they had assembled was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (MKJV) Most of the commentaries that I checked agreed with John Gill’s explanation of what the shaking stood for. He stated that the experience was “an emblem of the shaking of the world by the ministry of the Apostles” (as well as with yours and my ministry to our worlds today!).”
In my over forty some years as a Christian, I have many times witnessed my beliefs shake up the atmosphere of the places I’ve worked in, in our family gatherings and like yesterday, in the neighborhoods we have lived in… in four cities and three different states! The buildings may not have actually shaken, but lives definitely were. I once had a boss that I know was constantly challenged by my approach to and personal life style as he often times tried to publically bait me with challenges to my faith. But through it all, I was always able to keep a smile on my face, a calm demeanor and a friendly disposition toward him and his complaints.
Have you ever considered how you and your beliefs shake your daily life and those you interact with on a regular basis? You know, you don’t have to live in California to feel an earthquake in your neighborhood, your work or anywhere in the community in which you live! There are many scriptures throughout the Old and New Testaments that refer to the shaking caused by the presence of the Lord. (Check out Acts 16:24, Psalm 114:7, Psalm 68:8 and Matthew 27:54 to name a few!) The very presence of God in you and me can be the perpetrator of a life changing shaking in those around you!
So be a real mover and shaker today… for Christ! Live out your Christian walk and let His love, His peace and His joy shake up a troubled soul. Have a great day. Stay in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… Who or What am I expecting to shake up someone’s life today?”