Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pop Goes The Calling

I remember sitting through a workshop entirely in Spanish
Red-faced, shaking in my cracked, plastic seat
praying the leader would never ask me a question
my classmates were smiling and nodding
and laughing at jokes I didn't understand
I grasped at any word I could find
like a pinata party where I'm diving for candy
but the only one in slow motion
Trabajo, doesn't that mean work?
llamo means name, right?
my head spinning like the child with the bat
Teaching in rural Texas meant students new to this country
and it's foreign tongue that didn't roll like their espanol
during my well-organized lessons, their faces would grimace
like when I tried their mama's tamales
and they chuckled at my watery eyes as I fanned my face
or they'd opt for daydreaming out the windows
and I didn't blame them
I loved them, dreamed of their statistically unlikely graduations
and knew the state test was coming
Thank You for that little yellow bat
that missed the pinata and smacked me in the forehead
their problem was a maestra with a pencil in her hair
and a passion without a clue
so I dove into their culture to meet them halfway
a hand-made curriculum with some unlikely materials
so unlikely they just might be effective
the other teachers raised their eyebrows
the principal was concerned
it was awkward, disconcerting, and gauche
like when they tried to teach me their latin steps
and my Caucasion hips would not cooperate
but with each stilted mambo
we began to connect, literature and language came alive
crashing into stories from their homes
like the colorful blankets woven by their abuelas
stitch by stitch
and the pattern of the tapestry reminded me of You
their test scores astounded the school, the state,
even their maestra who had finally found
a clue behind her grin
all this was just a glimpse of what You had in mind
just a pre-test for the real exam
of leveraging culture to bring people to You
Thank You for bringing me here
to a new culture
a new leader
a new calling
and a new lesson to prepare
Your kingdom curriculum
with some unlikely materials
so unlikely
they just might be effective

"We don't want to build an inspiration station where people come week after week, sit, soak, and leave being no different from when they walked in. The Bible tells us that this is like a person who looks in a mirror and does nothing about what they see. So what is this all about? Why leverage the culture? . . . So that all of these people, and thousands others just like them begin to take a step toward Jesus . . . Seeing God in culture is no different than seeing God in nature. In either instance, you can rush right through going from here to there and forget to pay attention to the beauty and truth that is all around." Tim Stevens, Pop Goes the Church

2 Peter 1:12 "Because the stakes are so high, even though you're up-to-date on all this truth and practice it inside and out, I'm not going to let up for a minute in calling you to attention before it. This is the post to which I've been assigned—keeping you alert with frequent reminders—and I'm sticking to it as long as I live."


amberWIRE said...

Kristin! I love your fresh-cut words!

gregsmith said...

You're right - the culture is different and should be recognized as such - and, that if we don't address it this way, then we'll miss out on godly opportunities to be instruments of God as He changes lives.