Busting Up Backyard Fences


 "If it doesn't effect me in my backyard then it just doesn't matter." Growing up in a small, rural community in Indiana this was my mindset when I heard about world events an ocean away. 

Ashamedly, that was my mindset until I was 22 and traveled on a Mexico missions trip. I remember preparing for the trip thinking my group and I were "bringing Jesus to Mexico" when in reality Jesus beat me there by just a little bit. I thought I was going to save others when I was the one who needed saving from the mediocrity that is backyard mentality. 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad wholesome charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
— Mark Twain

Being saturated in another culture foreign to you forces you to shed a layer of skin that is worn and flaky and what you discover underneath is a better way to be human. New tastes. New smells. New sights. New languages. New roads. When we collide with what makes us different, it also reveals the deeply intrinsic thing that makes us the same. We are all image-bearers of the One who formed us and breathed life into us ... and it is good when we sit at a table together. 

God did not create us for backyard fences. He created us for banquets with all peoples ... with Him at the head of the table. (And if you don't believe me, go ahead and flip to the end of the Story.)

As followers of Christ, being relegated to one place, one country, one town, one house goes against the fact that we are sojourners. C.S. Lewis wrote, "I must keep alive in myself the desire for my TRUE country, which I shall not find till after death; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same."