Stupid Foreigners

Copenhagen 2012 074

A while back, my husband and I were getting a ride home from a friend. We were stopped at an intersection, waiting to take a right, but the street was very crowded with cars which made it difficult to see on-coming traffic. Inching out into the intersection, our friend didn’t see any cars coming, so he proceeded to take a right. Suddenly, from what appeared out-of-nowhere, a van was honking the horn at us, almost hitting us. From our perspective, it was clear he was going too fast on this road but we stopped and he didn’t hit us.

Normally, in these type of encounters, everyone appears to be grateful there was no accident and everyone goes on their way.

But not this time.

The van stops in front of us for about 10 seconds. It was dark outside and then we saw the van’s door light come on. The man was getting out of his car.

Immediately, I knew this wasn’t going to go well. I told our friend to drive away but I’m sure he felt compelled to apologize and make the situation right with this guy.

The man was clearly not from Denmark, as we could tell from his look and accent. He starting yelling and cursing at us. Our friend tried apologizing but from the body language of the man, it was evident apologies were not going to be excepted. My husband and I kept telling our friend to drive off and eventually, he did. Our remark after the whole scenario:

“Stupid foreigners.”

A couple of days later, my husband and friend were retelling the story to another friend and his comment was:

“But we’re all foreigners.”

Haha, yes that’s right! Every one of us in this situation was not from Denmark. But we’ve been here long enough to know the “rules” and be acquainted with the cultural norms to feel like we belong here.

“We’ve assimilated and in this country and you are not acting with in the confounds of standard Danish society.” Is what I thought to myself.

As Christians, I think we can get into the same mentality with other Christians. We get tunnel-vision and don’t see the big picture. This is perfectly portrayed in the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. The servant has a huge debt forgiven but then immediately leaves and is unmerciful to a fellow servant.

Jesus takes the bar up a notch in John 15:11-17 where he commands us to love one another, but also tells us he no longer calls us servants. He calls us friends.

How does God show you love? How can you pass that onto another?

We’re all on the same page. We’re all his friend’s trying to get to heaven. We could be one another’s greatest help or greatest downfall. In Galatians 5:13-15 it says to serve one another in love but if we keep on biting and devouring each other, we could be destroyed by each other.

Ouch.

As for me, I’m trying to remember we’re all a bunch of sinners. I will be let down. I will let others down. God is the only perfect one I can have a relationship with. I can choose to be grateful for that and get rid of my relentless standards for others. I will continue to strive to have an Acts 2:42-47 fellowship. Won’t you join me? It looks pretty sweet.

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