Confession time: (Don’t get excited. It’s nothing juicy!) I have a tendency toward exaggerated optimism. Or maybe the ouchier and more honest way to say it is that I avoid and minimize problems and hard stuff. Reading Muslim Connect you might be led to think, “Wow, connecting with Muslims is easy as eating donuts and comfortable as a hot shower.
I’m quick to share great stories, like Hannah’s, but don’t spend as much time on the challenges.
A dear friend recently relayed some of the struggles she faces as she diligently welcomes Syrian refugees into her community.
“I had my friend over for tea to celebrate passing her driver’s license. She didn’t like my tea, ‘Is it Lipton’s? Syrians don’t like this kind of tea, just Jordanians, Egyptians, Turkish people, but not Syrians.’ Then she had a couple bites of my coffee cake and pushed it aside, saying, ‘Sorry, not going to eat.’ Then she also didn’t want any oranges that I offered her right off my tree. I smiled and will persevere, but its not always as easy as it seems it might be.”
She went on to say how her Syrian friend “schools” her in hospitality, an activity to which I can personally attest she is gifted!
Caring, connecting, across cultures is challenging. Maybe easy at the start, but tougher as you go deeper. People are so different from one another and, honestly, some of us are first class dopes! (tweet this)
If you’re building friendships across cultures and have thrown your hands up and said, “I’m done,” can I ask you to maybe give it another go? You have so much to offer. It can be crazy hard, but it is worth it. (tweet this)
You can read more that I recently wrote about the importance of grit here.