Living in Houston has the benefit of an international experience. So much so that there are times that I am the minority in my own country. But that is a misconception of what "my" country is all about. America isn't white Anglo Saxon Christianity, it is multicultural, it is the melting pot of ethnicity bound together by an ideal codified in the constitution. The American experience is unique because all who come to her shores are welcome if they rally around these ideals.
Conflict is inherent in the system because there will be clashes of culture, clashes of philosophy, and clashes of religion. But if we all adhere to the guiding principles of our constitution and laws then we can work anything out and become stronger as a result.
It means breaking free from prejudice and preconceived ideas painted by selective media bias. It means tolerating, in the true sense of the word, where we don't have to accept everything, but still live in harmony. It means reaching out to give a helping hand to the less fortunate so they can rise above previously held social standards.
Sitting in the park watching this melting pot in action was inspiring. African Americans, Indians, Arabs, Hispanics, European Americans, and Asians allowing their children to play together without hatred or fear. Different languages and clothing added to the flavor, and laughter was a common bond.
But there is something deeper uniting us together; something stronger then 265 year old words on a page. There is something in the eyes of each individual in the park that is familiar, a spark grown distant and dim. We are the brotherhood of mankind created in the image of God.
When Paul confidently bowed before our Heavenly Father on the basis of Christ's death and resurrection he petitioned the Father of all men, in all places, and in all the world. We are the children of Adam and Eve, the descendants of Noah, and despite all our differences we are brothers and sisters.
As Christians we should look at those outside of the faith not as enemies, but wayward family who have lost their way. We don't wage war against their insults, against their treachery, their persecution, because they don't know any better. Like Christ we pray, we love, we forgive, and we persevere. We wage peace because we have found perfect peace in Christ. We love because while we were enemies God loved us. We forgive because God in Christ has forgiven us. We allow God to be the arbiter of justice because he is the only one who is without sin and righteous.
When we see all of mankind as brothers and sisters created in the image of God we begin to have compassion on their plight. We are willing to go to the "cesspools" of humanity because they need to know the grace and mercy of God. We risk wealth and life for a cause that is foolishness to the world, but at the heart of our Father. We don't leave family behind. I'm just saying...
Eph. 3:15 "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named."