Stepping Out

[Gen, one of our new contributors here at Texas Schmexas, 
is blogging from Chennai, India, where she and her family 
are living for a few weeks this summer. You can visit her 
personal blog for more photos and stories about India.]
------------------------------------------------------

I have been to India three times, but every once and a while I get a scared feeling when I walk out on the streets. My heart beats a little faster and my body is a little more tense and uneasy. The feeling doesn’t last long, but every time it happens I feel a bit unsafe for just a moment.

(c) 2013 Gen Alexander Photography. Used by permission.

(c) 2013 Gen Alexander Photography. Used by permission.

Afterwards, I feel silly for even feeling this way.

During these moments, I am taken out of my comfort zone. My focus is narrowed in on my immediate surroundings and all sorts of present dangers.

But then I get back to the reality of why I am here.

Before I got married, I never would have dreamed I would be brave enough to walk the unknown streets of such a strange and foreign land, a place as chaotic and shattered as India. And yet here I am following what my heart tells me and trusting in God’s direction.

Why would I be afraid?

Lots of reasons.

But these are my neighbors on the opposite side of the world and I have fallen in love with them. There are reasons to fear. But with God’s grace that fear is silenced. With God’s grace, I walk the streets of my neighborhood in small town Indiana and in my neighborhood in jam-packed India.

Community often begins by getting out of your comfort zone and letting the world shake you up a bit. Why not get out of your own cozy corner and walk out on the unknown streets of your neighborhood?

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3 comments on “Stepping Out

  1. elizabeth says:

    I love when you say, “Community often begins by getting out of your comfort zone and letting the world shake you up a bit.”

    How true! I wish it weren’t true, actually, because it would make life a lot easier, but that’s kind of the point, it seems to me. Community is hard, even in safe, small-town America.

    Thanks for writing this! I’m looking forward to more photos.

  2. stephenii says:

    “why would I be afraid? Lots of reasons. But…”

    Yes, you are right there are lots of reasons to be afraid when visiting new places or living in a strange country or even living in the same place you always have.

    But, I am glad there is a “but”. Because you are absolutely correct in that they are our neighbors. And we are instructed to “love our neighbor”, there are no caveats on who those neighbors are. It doesn’t say, love your neighbor if they are clean and well groomed, or love your neighbor if they worship the same god as you, or love your neighbor if it’s safe. We are only instructed to “love our neighbor”.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  3. gen says:

    Thank you LIz and Staphenii! Yes, i don’t want to think that my only neighbors are the ones who live right next door or the familiar faces at church and work. my neighbor is that person next to me wherever i go, no matter what the culture or look of the person. i choose to love!

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