Long time, no read, Wordslingers! It is unbelievable to imagine that a year ago, I was given this opportunity to be a human microphone for this blog, as a Baptist Messenger intern and writer who derives inspiration from my environment, life experiences and the people who intercede in my life’s path. And in this life, God has revealed to me very early how much I have a passion and curiosity of what makes mankind tick, in more ways than one.
From foreign cuisines that are infused with tongue-numbing spices and aromas (Often times my friends wonder how I can stomach and actually enjoy the heat; “if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen” is my response often times), to the unique styles that often adopt vibrant colors and symbols that are stitched with symbolic purpose within a culture. There’s just something that entices my soul in trying to interpret and truly understand people and how they perceive the world we live in. It is amazing to me how there are so many perceptions of the world around us; in nature, in cultural norms and in beliefs.
Just this recent semester I have just conquered, I was given an opportunity to film a documentary for my non-fiction cinematography class over any topic of our hearts’ desires. My crew (Shout out to my fellow camera nerds, Gavin and Josh!) had unanimously decided to film a documentary over my Native American Art professor I had in Fall 2014 (Shout out to Michael Elizondo, Jr.!), on how his art symbolizes his embrace of his heritage, sense of identity. The purpose we wanted to give this documentary was a realization, a conviction of the cultural differences and tensions that have been present in society since the beginning of time. We wanted to open the window of opportunity to place people, whether it be familiar or foreign, in a perspective where we could unite our hearts, as a human race, and understand and love one another.
We all live in the same world, so we all share a universal purpose, even though we may differ in appearance and in tongue. And that’s what makes life so beautiful; this is a human’s perspective trying to define the omniscient presence and limitless perspective of God. In God’s eyes, we are all of His children. I don’t know about you, but how boring and bland life would be if He created all of us EXACTLY the same? And honestly, it would not be long before I would go insane because I cannot tell the difference between people; that would be a terrifyingly sad reality, for all of us.
I draw inspiration from Acts 8:26-40. In this particular passage, Phillip has a God-destined encounter with a eunuch, a representative of the growing Ethiopian Church. Keep in mind, after Christ, there was a swirl of ordeals as to how to have access, who was “eligible” to receive and hear the Gospel, resulting in an adoption into God’s family. The Jews and the Gentiles (Considered ‘outsiders’ of the faith) were just trying to figure out and decipher the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Fortunately, as human history has unraveled, anyone and everyone who has open hearts and ears for the Gospel, and an encounter from Jesus Christ Himself, can be saved. In addition, as the Gospel was and does tend to spread like a wildfire, at the time, the Ethiopian Eunuch was living evidence as the “ends of the earth”, when Jesus says to reach out to the ends of the earth.
Alluding back to the passage aforementioned, the Eunuch who Phillip had encountered was physically journeying and reciting the prophecy of Isaiah, a way in which he believed could be his bridge to the Gospel he was desperate to cross. Naturally, as all believers are placed in situations to share Scripture/the Gospel, it can be nerve-racking because you don’t know how the receiving end/perspective is going to respond to this Truth. In verses 30-34, the conversation naturally unfurls into something more powerful than the actual people involved in the conversation. God had already been working within the “foreigner” for some time, and in verse 35, Phillip becomes a vessel for the Holy Spirit to flood the thirsty soul of the Eunuch. The passage continues on as the Ethiopian spots a body of water and wants to submerge himself into the act that all believers are called to act upon: Baptism. Shortly after Phillip finalizes the “foreigner’s” adoption into God’s family, the new brothers’-through-Christ paths diverge and spread the Gospel to where God had led them.
Another powerful moment in the New Testament, also found within Acts (Chapter 2), was when the original disciples were at the same place, at the same time, received supernatural powers during Pentecost, in which the Holy Spirit gave them the abilities to speak the Gospel in all languages, of all peoples. God fired up the hearts of the people who would change the course of history and for generations for all time; a group of people Jesus Christ Himself had chosen. If that doesn’t get you fired up as well, as a modern day disciple, I don’t know what will.
Some people may see diversity within the human race as barriers to relate and communicate; others see it as a bridge to see and live life in ways you could never conjure up on your own. No matter your race or color of skin, in God’s eyes, we all bleed the same and need the same Savior.