Weaving our various threads into a tapestry is sometimes challenging and daunting. Especially when our threads come in so many variations. Some of us might be spun from llama fur, some from lambs wool and some from camels hair.
What happens if you take a llama from Peru, a lamb from England and a camel from the deserts of Morocco? Lets say that the tint of purple dye in Egypt is going to look a bit different from the purple dye in China because the process and ingredients used are going to vary. (I actually have no clue, but flow with my thought here.) All this gets thrown into a big box in a tangled, knotted mismatched mess and somehow the contents of that box are supposed to work together to create a pattern. Like the one in the picture above.
The weaving process takes a great deal of humility on our parts. It takes a great deal of patience and understanding. Say you are a nice butter yellow soft lambs wool and you think that your color and texture would be suited nicely next to a creamy pink, but Jesus thinks outside of the box. He is going to put you next to the neon blue camels hair. At first it seems as if it clashes and chaffs badly, but if we let humility and patience be our plumb line, and let the perfect work of righteousness to have its full effect, the work is stunning!!! It may not be what you had in mind, it may not be how you wanted it to happen, but it is better than you ever thought it would be!
As you can imagine living in Africa for 6 years, I have had to face many cultural misunderstandings. The most recent one has really taken my breath away because it hasn’t been as clear cut as the ones in the past. I felt comfortable in this particular situation to address things as an American woman would and I was W-R-O-N-G! The responses I got in return was hard to swallow. I got before God and was like “WHAT HAPPENED!? What went wrong??” My emotions were raw and I felt like FORGET THIS, I QUIT!!!
To make a long story short, God is amazing! I called my mom, cause she rocks my face off and she always is chock full of wisdom! She calls a spade a spade and WILL NOT let me feel sorry for myself. (Also she knows the challenges of working as an American woman in a male dominated society, India...makes Zambia look like a walk in the park) Basically she asked me the question “Were you addressing things as an American or as Christian? Was humility the plumb line or your opinion?” As she spoke I felt the warm flood of peace wash over my heart and the hopelessness was gone. I knew my heart was right before God, but I was filtering the situation as an American woman, not as a Christian being guided by the voice and standards of Jesus.
Whats the punch line?
Are you feeling misunderstood? Do not let a misunderstanding drive a wedge in your relationships. What we should be doing is taking steps back and getting God’s perspective and HIS cultural understanding.
Jesus is the Divine Weaver who knows the best way to make all our colors and textures blend together in a beautiful pattern that will make the world take notice.