A few weeks ago a middle age pastor and a Filipino missionary in the US was here for a brief vacation. He was so excited to see me, not because he haven’t seen seen each other for years, but my presence in the church. Of course I am not a mere visitor, I am a member. He could not believe it, me among the faithful in a Christian fellowship?
He knew what I used to be, a hard core ABS-alak, babae, sugal (wine, women, and gambling). Finally when he shook my hand he said, “this is the least of the places where I could see you Bob.Thank God you are here.” After the service, I invited him for a lunch and we had a great time together.
He was a newly ordained minister when I met him. He was friendly to me and we became good friends. We could talk almost anything but not religion. He knew I was allergic to anything about Christianity. Not that I was an atheist, It’s simply I have so many vices that I could not sacrifice in case I would be convinced to join his religion. He did not insist anyway.
Among the so many things we talked about, there’s one that really sank into my mind. It’s all about that incident when he went to the house of an American Pastor who invited him as a speaker. They were eating, he has not yet taken his lunch, but they never invited him to their table. According to him he was already salivating because the food smell good but there was no offer to join them.
After their lunch, the pastor’s wife immediately prepared for his lunch. It was no longer the same food the pastor’s wife prepared but it was so good and he ate a lot.
Culture shock, that’s the term we usually used when we encounter a totally different experience from what we regularly see in our day to day life. As Filipinos we have always treasured our hospitality values. When a visitor comes to our house, and we are having a dinner, we usually invite him/her to dine with us no matter how little what we have. But we live in a complex world where we deviate in almost anything, belief system, political views, and cultural practices. Yes the pastor was unaware of our culture, neither sensitive to the Filipino customary ways. We can not blame him for what the don’t know.
But someday all our differences and biases will come to an end. God has promised us a place where only the Glory of God shines and that the hearts will no longer speak of evil against others. There will be total justice, no man is greater that the other; we are all but equal in the Kingdom of God and in the new World to come.
Yes there will not longer be culture shock nor human biases. We feel nothing but everlasting love, joy, and peace as the light of God shines on us. There will be no greater happiness that we may experience than when God finally remove their guilt of sin and shame in or hearts. In that glorious Kingdom of God man will we no longer feel harm and humiliations; all because we believe and have kept His promises in our hearts.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.” ( John 14: 1-4 )