A Bubble

I grew up in a bubble.

And that’s okay.   It wasn’t my parents fault.

It wasn’t my school’s fault.

It wasn’t my neighbor’s fault.

None of them consciously tried to put my brothers and I in a bubble.

But we were.  We lived in a world where everyone, or almost everyone, looked like we did.

Where almost everyone had blond hair and blue eyes like the Dutch boys did.

That’s just the way it was.   We thought.

We didn’t know about the rest of the world.   

The world didn’t have instantaneous news so we could hear about things happening in South Sudan before they were done and the bodies were buried.   

The world didn’t have cell phone videos that could broadcast episodes of violence literally as they were happening from inside the car.

Then I went to college and spent summers working in a factory.   It was my first real exposure to people who didn’t look like me, who weren’t Dutch like me.  I worked outside of the bubble and it wasn’t a big deal.

In 2003, my wife and I went to Haiti for the first time.   I remember standing in the airport and looking around and saying to my wife, “Look hon, we are in the minority.”   For the first time, ever.

Since then, we’ve learned more and more about the bubble that we live in.

And we’ve taken steps to poke holes in that bubble.

And I’ve learned a couple of things about that bubble……

That bubble seems okay from the inside but it’s hard to be outside of that bubble.   Life is more difficult there.

That bubble takes a couple of different forms……

There’s the governmental bubble – unfortunately many of the policies that our government has enacted over the last 100 years have strengthened the bubble for those inside the bubble.

There’s the personal bubble – people make decisions and are impacted by their family, their friends, their location that either make it easier to walk through the bubble or harder to get out.

But I’ve seen too much, I’ve read too much

I’ve heard too much.

The Bubble is not okay.  The Bubble builds walls and alienates neighbors.

The Bubble needs to have doors in it.   Doors that swing both ways.   Doors that welcome people from all sides.  

Doors that show God’s love to everyone.

We all have our own bubbles.  

Does your bubble have doors in it?

That’s the way God wants it.


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