Ephesians 2:19 has a whole new meaning now after being in China for a week and a half. The verse says, "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (ESV).
I think I used to always interpret that as being rejected no more, being accepted into God's family. But having spent a week and a half in an area of China where the only Americans we see are the six members of our own team, I know what it means to be a foreigner.
To be a foreigner means to be pointed at, stared at, and watched. To struggle to communicate, to fumble with money, and question every item your chopsticks put into your mouth.
To be a member of the family means you have a bed, a place at the table, you understand the language, you eat the food, and you're included. There's no longer a need to impress, on either side, because, congratulations, you're in! The need to stare is gone because you're together as one family.
I will always be a foreigner in China but even here among my brothers and sisters in Christ, we are a family! Amen.
PS: This post was sent via email because blogs, like many other things, are blocked in China. Any grave errors will be corrected upon my return to the States next week.