Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grafted into a culture and a family

The Bible (Romans 11) talks of us getting grafted into His family as Gentiles and Paul speaks of it as a great mystery. Over the course of last year, 2011,  I experienced a number of moments when I feel like I turned a page over in reading this great mystery. Surely I have much to read but I feel that two experiences in particular have given me experiential insight into this mystery of being grafted into God's family.

Grafted into another culture
LOL with Gloria from Mexico on left, Rixy and Evelyn from El Salvador
We are all laughing hysterically at a very funny video on Youtube. I look at that photo and am overcome with a strong sense of belonging. Sometimes the last thing you "get" when you learn a culture are the jokes, the nuances of language, the play on words, the gist of a joke that depends on understanding the context. These three friends I have known and loved and been loved by since the early 1990's.  From the outside, it's clear I "don't belong", but by God's grace, I have been accepted and "grafted into the Latin culture." What a gift God has given me as a missionary!

Grafted into a family: The Umana-Martinez family

New Year's Eve celebration with the Umana-Martinez and Umana-Anderson families

As we sat down to eat our turkey dinner on New Year's Eve, I looked around the table and experienced a strong sense family. I have lived almost 30 years far away from my biological family and my roots. I realized that God has grafted me into my husband's family even though we are so different, speak different languages, have had such different upbringings, communicate so differently, etc. But as I looked around table, I knew I was accepted for who I am, faults and all. What a gift to enjoy belonging to a family!

Do you have an insight or blessing from 2011 you'd like to share with me? I'd love to hear it! click on "comments" below to post it!