When I think back on how missionaries were presented to me over my formative years in Christian school, and I never saw myself. I gazed at the photos shown and the videos on display in Mid-Week chapel; and my little eyes were closer identified with the one being served than the one serving. Representation matters, and I knew that before I exited Elementary. I looked around at what godly characters were painted, pictured and drawn to resemble and I didn’t find myself there either.
At a young age, I painfully decided not to accept the paper thin yet “picture perfect” image presented in a majority white school, filled with right wing patriotism. In my tiny disappointed heart I realized that the ideal, missionary, minister, clergy, and teacher was being framed as someone other than me; but I had to transform into something else internally because externally I was made well aware that I was lacking or deficient in some way.
That begs the question, can ministry and the Christian journey be both a tattering experience emotionally and creatively reveal itself on the skin in the form of ink?
I happen to think so.
International ministry as a family of five has been a voyage of seismic proportions; however, our description of our experience is not commonly expressed.
For us being true to ourselves and being real about our experience walking the planet as servants of the Most High is the priority in our calling. (Also known as Trill 😉) We don’t have to fit an image of what people think representatives of Christ should appear as, we are required to inwardly reflect Christ because the Holy Spirit is causing fruit to be produced in us.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”