Community Growths

Last night we had a home-schooling mom and her son join us for Happy Hour.  We’ve had one other home-school connection join us months ago, and both times the people joining us weren’t people of faith.  Considering that the vast majority of the other attendees are recent grads from the local Christian liberal arts college, we’re never sure what the topics of conversation will be.  We’re learning, however, not to let that worry us too much.  I attended a Christmas party a few years back that a colleague of mine threw, and I was amazed at the diversity of folks there, from motorcyclists to college professors.  My colleague enjoys that sort of social and intellectual free-for-all, and I’ve tried to adopt a similar attitude.  It isn’t always easy though, probably because (unlike my colleague!) I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to forecast the results in order to ensure that everyone else has a good time.  I need to try and stop doing that.

My wife and I are discovering that as people get to know us (mainly her and our children), they’re curious.  They have no idea what a pastor is or does.  They have no idea how and why we open our homes to people regularly, whether it’s hosting international students or hosting happy hours.  They have a lot of questions and curiosities, particularly as they go through difficult times in their lives.

We also had three third-culture-kids (TCKs) last night, including my wife.  This is an emerging field of study in psychology related to kids born or raised substantially in a culture that is not their parents’ culture of birth, and who are taken out of this other culture at some point when their parents return to their culture of birth.  The parents are going home in this sense, but their kids are not.  The kids have to learn to figure out who they are because they aren’t part of the culture they were born in, even though they feel like they are.  And they aren’t part of their parents’ culture because crucial formative years were spent outside of that culture.  It can leave them feeling a bit lost as to who they are and how to fit in.  I was able to have some fascinating conversation with one of the guys who is a TCK, and of course I’m interested in this topic more and more because my wife is also a TCK and I’m beginning (slowly) to understand how deeply this defines her.

It’s fascinating to watch this time evolve!

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