The faith of a child…

The amber glare in my eyes.  The sun was escaping and I wasn’t done yet.  Wait for me!  I darted out of the doorway of the school and into the street.  Grasping the remaining minutes of the day.  We waited at the crosswalk for the light to change.  James said, “see you guys tomorrow,” as he went on his way and Jillian lived one floor below me.  I walked her to her door and continued on to my room.  No plans tonight, but I was going to E-Mart.  It was near my apartment.
I noticed the puzzle shape and how neatly the red bricks fit together on the ground I was walking.  The silver flag poles crowned with neon spirals evenly spaced down the sidewalk.  The air held the sun’s light for as long as it could.  A cluster of high-school girls like grapes hanging on to each other as they sat with their phones glowing in their faces.  I entered the E-Mart and noticed the glances.  There was an big open room with a line of small restaurants.  Lime-green square tables and yellow plastic chairs and the reflection of white tile.  A young girl standing behind a cash-register.  I walked over to someone and asked for some food.  A reply was given and the motion for me to go to the woman wearing the paper hat.  I pointed to a plastic display of what I wanted to eat.  She nodded and gave me some paper.  I waited.  I sat down.  Eyes with a red and yellow cap motioned me to come over.  I picked up my tray of new food and sat back down.  I felt the cold between my fingers as I held the metal chopsticks.
Suddenly, there was Jillian in a green knit sweater.  Our world was very small and it was no surprise to see her.  She sat down next to me.  Soon I began to recognize someone.  It was a little girl in the morning class.  Her parents were with her and her sister.  They made a slight bow and welcomed me with a smile.  The greeting was warm.  I invited them to join us.  They knew English, we could communicate!  It was a fresh conversation.  They spoke so highly of me.  I was a diplomat, a learned professor.  I didn’t want to burst their bubble.  The father was a confident, but humble man who wanted to use his English and the mom with long full black hair was soft spoken.  I mentioned that I drank a lot of water in America, but wasn’t able to locate a place to buy any here.  She said something to her daughters and the 6 year old took me by the hand.  I stood in unbelief as these children escorted a complete stranger away from their mother to the second floor of a massive department store.  I started to look at this culture more closely.  Would a mother in America trust a complete stranger with her children and send them off on an errand?  We got the water and returned.  I felt so welcomed into their world.  What an act of trust!  Were things really that different here?!
Jillian went on her way.  The family invited me to go with them to their church that night.  The father didn’t attend the church, so he dropped us off at the door.  The sanctuary had a high ceiling with wood-stained pews along the floor.  The music was beautiful and I was moved.  What was God doing in my heart here?  Why did I care about a people that I knew nothing about?
After the service was over, the girl, her sister and her mother, walked with me 8 city blocks back to my apartment (about a 30 minute’s walk).  I still did not understand their hospitality.  I was a guest of honor living in the household of their country.

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