Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How are we different?

We've been doing our best for the past few months at hiding at our local church. We've been blessed and quite impressed at how we've been welcomed and greeted ("Hi, I've not had the chance to introduce myself." and not once "Hi, are you new here?"). The kids have transitioned well into Children's Church, though the idea of a separate Sunday School hour is still taking some getting used to. We've attended the Inquirers Class to get to know the church and the denomination better. But overall, we've tried to keep a low profile, slipping out as quickly as we can after service.

But lately, Peter and I have felt a tug in our hearts. Are we willing to invest into the life of the church knowing that some things will feel different? Until two years ago, we had attended a predominantly Korean-American second gen church where social and cultural connections generally flowed seamlessly into spiritual connections. There was no worrying about what to serve or not serve for impromptu meals together. No explaining why we related to our parents the way we did even though we are grown adults with families of our own.

Peter and I were talking about church, and joked about how we stood out as a family on any given Sunday morning. We've been keeping a low-profile, but there are some things we can't hide, right?

But then my daughter said something that gave me a moment of panic. "Huh? What do you mean we stick out? How are we different?"

My husband and I nearly stopped breathing.

Bethany is developing a wicked sense of humor so for a moment we weren't sure if she was joking with us, but it was soon obvious that it wasn't immediately obvious to her how we were different.

And I'm not sure how I feel about that. I don't want my kids to wear their ethnicity as an angry badge, but I want them to be wisely aware. Does that make sense?

Ironically, I've taught on ethnic identity to college students and adults. Any thoughts on translating this for personal use?

2 comments:

Josh Deng said...

WOW! If you find the answer to this question, please pass it on, because I sure haven't found it yet...

although, I wouldn't be too quick to freak out; I imagine when I was a kid I didn't know so much of a difference in ethnicity...the farthest I got was probably boys and girls. I think it might be a good thing to have your daughter grow up with more of a "we're different but the same" mindset as opposed to a "I'm a minority subtly oppressed by the majority culture" mindset. I'm hoping future of this country can nurture that mindset.

my 2 cents :)

Pepy3 said...

Will our children lead us into a new awareness? New ways of seeing?

I just asked this question on my site:

"How do we identify ourselves, and how do we settle into other people’s expectations for our identity?”
Phyllis