Yesterday I went to Houston, TX… a quick 24 hour trip but in many ways it was like a trip to a another planet.
Don’t take me wrong, it is not that Texas is such a far off place. Texas is part of the Union and for all it’s eccentrics there are plenty of nice folks there.
Let me explain…
I was visiting Muslim friends from Pakistan who fled to China for their lives… while there, they waited for almost seven years to be accepted by any country… the USA opened wide their generous arms and they were resettled in Houston, Texas!
My friends now live in a large complex mostly inhabited by Pakistanis. I spent the night with friends north of the metro area, they are Texans of many years and told me how Houston has changed. I was not quite prepared for what I was about to see. As I drove towards my Pakistani friends home, I passed blocks and blocks of Chinese signs, a truly confusing experience. According to Rice University, Houston has become the most racially diverse megalopolis in the US! Who would have thought…
When I arrived, there were three ladies visiting, as I walked in they covered their heads with their scarves and I was escorted to a bedroom. I was not allowed to be in the same room with them.
After they left, I was offered a scrumptious Pakistani meal. I enjoyed their cooking, Pakistani food is amazing! As I ate my friends told me about life in the USA… hard work, taxes, busy and busier… they also shared how they fondly remember their lives in back in a village… a long gone experience.
As I took all this in, I thought… only in America… only in America. Thank God for this generous land which welcomed me and still today welcomes so many.
Christmas is about the greatest gift ever given, the King of King who came in a manger to bring life to all creation.
This King said… when we welcome the stranger we welcome Him.