Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Ethnicity Of Sarah

Sarah Suerte was a young lady in my class a number of years ago and an incredibly awesome one! Sarah taught me, quite accidentally, the value of accepting each group as if they were your own. The following is from August 20, 2006. (Sarah is now grown up and happily married!)

I wore a yellow tie to worship services this morning. It was designed by Ralph Lauren and features a design of little red motor scooters. Like most of my one hundred thirty neckties, this one was a gift from a student. The young lady who gave it to me was named Sarah. She was with us at Westbury Christian School through her eighth grade year before her family moved to another part of Houston. Sarah was a terrific student and had a servant heart. I heard from her last year at her new school as she headed up a fund raiser in the battle against disease. She also was a hopeless romantic. There was a boy she liked at the Catholic school across the parking lot from us and when the last bell rang, Sarah would gaze out my window, hoping to catch a glimpse of her boyfriend as he departed for the day. Young just can't beat it!Sometimes, my students say things that are very profound, often simply as observations on life. My most enduring memory of Sarah came from a conversation we had one day after class. Like many of our WCS students, Sarah was born in the United States but her parents were immigrants from The Philippines. Sarah was relating her experiences in going out to eat in Houston when she stated the following:
"When I go to a Chinese restaurant, the people speak to me in Chinese because they think I'm Chinese. But, when I go into a Mexican market or restaurant, the people speak Spanish to me because they think I'm Hispanic."

That is an amazing statement. I am no sociologist (although my teacher certification says I'm qualified to teach in the area) but I'd like to interject my own profound statement here: People from China don't look like people from Mexico and people from Mexico don't look like people from China. And yet, in spite of this, both ethnic groups readily accepted Sarah as one of their own, even though she is not from either heritage. There must be a lesson in there for us somewhere. Christianity from the outset struggled with the making of distinctions among believers. Often it was conflict between Jew and Gentile. In the book of James, the poor were being considered second class citizens in the assemblies. The passage of two thousand years has not erased all the barriers that hinder us. What a shame we can't view each other as Sarah was regarded wherever she went. How much more effective would we be in spreading the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ if we simply accepted others as Sarah was accepted, as simply one of us.

Applicable quote of the day:
"After Zorro,
people spoke Spanish to me for ages. I'm Welsh but that movie instantly gave me a new ethnicity."
Catherine Zeta-Jones/ actress

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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