By: Dave Ingland
It’s taken me a long time to come to understand this, but no matter how much I feel like I fit in with anybody and everybody, I miss being able to connect with people of my heritage. People that look like me, think like me…understand things without them needing to be expressed in words like me. There is something inherent in each of our cultures that we just know on an instinctual level that others just cannot.
I constantly go in through the out door and out through the in door when it comes to my thoughts on multiculturalism within the church. It’s because I am seeking my own inner being of who I am and why. The question why can be broken into subsets such as:
- Why do I look and feel different than those I’ve been called to worship with and minister to?
- Why do I feel like somedays I have nothing to offer others of my ethnic background within the context of the church?
- Why do people want me to be a part of their congregation, yet speak to me in a generic white American cultural context?
- Why is it that most days I feel like a square peg in a round hole?
I’m on a contemplative path with no clear epiphany in sight. I know many others feel the same way. What has been your process? Does being Asian in a predominantly white church feel comfortable or uncomfortable to you? Should any of this even matter to me?