For You Were Strangers


Traveling to Israel, via a layover in Istanbul, Turkey, was fascinating and slightly disorienting.  English and American culture were no longer the default reference point for everything from announcements to cuisine.  However, English subtitles and the wide acceptance of American currency allowed us to reasonably navigate the environment without speaking the local languages.  While serving in the U.S. military, I didn’t realize how much of an “American bubble” we took with us, during international travel, and how this bubble sometimes insulated us from having to adapt to the new cultures we encountered.  My recent experiences are helping me better appreciate God’s guidance on how to treat strangers; “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers…” (Deut. 10:19).  Should we re-examine how we feel about and act towards those struggling to become acclimated to our communities?


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