Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A dandelion in a field of poppies

I visited a Roman Catholic Church last Saturday for a mass in Spanish. I don't speak or understand Spanish. I know a few words, but that doesn't help in a real-life conversation - or a church service. I also was the only blonde in the crowd. I told Andy my hair said, "Look at me!" Then I realized that lots of people live their lives feeling like that everyday and it's good for me to be in that situation. Granted, my situation was insulated in that I was there with Andy's family including relatives visiting from Mexico, so I had a sense of belonging because they looked and sounded like everyone else there and I belong to that family. (And, surprisingly, they do take ownership of me.)

Were I Catholic, I'd know what was going on in the service despite not understanding the language, but I had the double-whammy of not understanding AND not being exposed to Catholic mass in the past except for a few isolated incidents. Yet, I could still tell that I shared something deep with these people - a genuine belief that God is bigger than all of us and that Jesus came to teach us to love.

Andy's dad and aunts asked me whether I liked the service. I thought it a strange question because, obviously, I didn't understand any of the service! But I did say that although I didn't understand any of it, I enjoyed being in that type of situation where I was wildly outnumbered based on my race and cultural experience because it helped me learn about other peoples' perspectives while showing me that deep inside our hearts, we all share so much in common.

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