What’s more is that when he contacted me this week, he wrote the proverb “dignity, respect, and honor cannot be communicated without the ingredient of time.” I’ve dwelled on this quote since then as it really, truly relates to what ministry looks like here in NYC. Through working with ethnic cultures that fall into the “honor/shame” category (http://honorshame.com/honorshame-101/) this past year (as well as coming from one) I have wrestled with that ingredient of time. How much time do I give before bringing up a deeper biblical concept without communicating disrespect? There’s no prefect answer to this question but it is something only learned through practice.
I also really related to this proverb as it used the imagery of a recipe. Just last week I was sharing with my director how working as a mission catalyst is often so difficult because we often have all the ingredients for the recipe, but lack the measurements. As you can see in my above question, I asked “How much time?” Over and over again I’ve heard the phrase “Missions is messy because we’re dealing with people.” Personally, I was cooking without measurements basically since the day I was born as that’s the only way my Sicilian Nonna had taught me. You know how it goes- you throw some stuff in, taste it, and alter accordingly. But this, this work is with people. People aren’t in your control like rosemary and oregano are. You can try to add in some more rosemary but they can reject it. You can plan them being ready for the next step at a certain time but they may take months longer. They have a mind of their own (literally) and you lack control. That’s okay though, because we’re not meant to have control over people anyways. Our job is to do our best, and pray like crazy. As the opening story constantly reminds me, God is faithful. So, will you join the GCMI Mission Catalysts in praying for the salvation of the people that we are sharing within global cities?
By: C.B. in New York City