Typically in the spring, Greg and I take a little vacation somewhere of his choosing. Having lived in the North Carolina mountains the past 3 years where the temps could go a week not getting out of the 20’s Greg has talked about going to South Beach for a warm break to winter. My job as a District Superintendent wouldn’t allow it. It was my busiest season and I could’t get away. But now things are different so this weekend we find ourselves exploring the wonder and beauty of Miami and South Beach, FL.
What strikes me right off the bat is the amazing diversity surrounding us. In a city where European descent makes up only 11% of the population, it is a beautiful example of multiple cultures creating community. On our ride from the airport we were driven by a young man named Sebastian, who moved here 8 years ag
o from Venezuela. He now owns his own transportation business and has big dreams. It was fascinating hearing his perspective on politics an
d immigration. Especially having come from a country formerly led by Hugo Chavez and suffering under the extreme conditions of a failed communist economy. The hopes and possibilities our country has is inspiring. At one point he said about himself, “I am more American than a lot of Americans because I appreciate what this country offers more than some others.” I completely agree with him. (In case you are wondering, he came here legally.)
He also commented on how messed up the world is right now (after I asked him if the state was getting tired of the political ads with the impending primary election.) He expressed frustration about how angry everyone was and how people were being pitted against people. That until we realize that the only way forward is for everyone to start working together to help each other out, the world would remain messed up.
Moving away from politics, Greg and I can’t wait to start sampling the multi cultural food (will share pics on Facebook!), the modern art and Art Deco architecture and beautiful beaches of the city. I will thoroughly enjoy being part of a much larger global cultural world for a few days than my typical day to day living allows. And I will pray that our country, our churches and our individual hearts will realize that Sebastian is right. “The way forward in this messed up world is to realize we have to help each other out”. And then I think about the Old Testament stories of people groups fighting other people groups. Sigh. Lord have mercy!
Grace and Peace,