I am a white, heterosexual, middle-class, Christian female with a college education, which means it’s rare for me to ever be in the minority. Honestly, I never really noticed this fact until I got a more diverse group of friends. To hang out with a black friend in a predominantly white part of town, a Democrat in the midst of Republicans, or a 50-year-old in a group of millennials are all eye-opening experiences. I love hearing different perspectives and, even if just for a moment, putting on the lenses of someone else.
Recently, one of my friends got baptized at her church. She kindly invited me to come, an invitation I immediately accepted. I was overjoyed and so incredibly proud of her. She an amazing example of how to be like Christ and it’s my privilege to walk with her as she walks with the Lord.
But, as I was driving to her church that Sunday, I had a thought: I’m probably going to be in the minority. You see, she goes to a predominantly black church. While I’ve been the minority within groups of friends before, I was incredibly aware of my whiteness and I got a little nervous. In the end, it was a glimpse into the reality of so many of my friends.
One Big Family
When I stepped through the doors, all of my nerves melted away because the church is the church. I was welcomed with open arms, greeted kindly, and felt like I was being welcomed into someone’s home. More than that, the Holy Spirit was moving there and he feels like home.
I’m so grateful I was there that day and had that experience. Though I looked different than probably 70% of the congregation, I didn’t feel awkward. Each person I talked to, shook hands with, and hugged were beautiful representations of Christ—these people were wonderful examples of what the Church should look like.
When was the last time you were the minority?
Especially if you’re white living in a predominantly Anglo area, I encourage you to really give this question some thought, it might’ve been a while. And, if it has, I encourage you to find a way for you to be the minority for even a few hours.
Go eat at an Asian restaurant where you have to rely on pictures to order.
Volunteer with a homeless shelter and spend time getting to know the people there.
If you’re used to being the boss, go serve in the children’s ministry for a service or two.
When we put ourselves in the place of being the minority, we can learn so much from those around us. These moments can give us a glimpse at the beauty of God in a way that we can more easily miss when we’re in our own homogeneous bubbles.
How can you step outside your comfort zone today?
How can you place yourself in a position to learn from someone else?
To Go Deeper: Read Intentionally Embracing Discomfort
Check Out Half Breed: Finding Unity in a Divided World, Advocates
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