This morning, I spent a couple hours with little Rayden - keeping him occupied on the playground while the cleaning lady was at his house. We dug in the sand, played on the swings, climbed up the tree house, and chased away a little lizard by yelling "Hello, lizard!" in his face. He is such a sweet boy, and I always enjoy being with him.
A couple hours later, we walked back to the house, and his mom, Stephanie, and another friend invited me to go downtown to St. George's with them. This bustling city is the capital of Grenada, and is located near a beautiful little harbor. The town has a good-sized mall with a lot of the shops designed to attract the many people whose cruise ships are docked in the harbor.
We walked through the mall and admired some of the beautiful jewelry and clothes. The next stop was a small smoothie shop on one of the crowded streets. My orange-grapefruit smoothie was the perfect refreshment while walking in the hot sun. Just a couple blocks away, we came to the outdoor market, where locals sell all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices. Stephanie stopped to talk to one lady that she knew, and as soon as we saw each other, she broke out into a huge smile and gave me one of the longest, tightest hugs. Stephanie asked how we knew each other, and this dear lady said, "She's my sister!" I explained to Stephanie that we go to church together.
I see this lady every Sunday, and sometime we even give her a ride home after church. She is always friendly, if somewhat more reserved. But seeing me at the market, we had an instant connection, and I was more than just the American that comes to their church - I was her sister. As close to her as someone in her own family because of our relationship through Christ. I was challenged to rethink my own views of the church family. I don't always look at the individuals in my church as brothers and sisters - saved by the same grace of God. Far too often I focus on the differences (culture, personality, standards) and fail to rejoice in the similarities (salvation, mercy, a loving Heavenly Father). But I'm thankful for the reminder today that we are all one in Christ.
Sometimes you just need a sister to get you back on track!