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Attention, Mennonites!

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Thanks to Google Alerts, I came across a blog post this morning that confirms the obvious to me: People notice our faces. (And they read our faces.)

I’ve thought many times while out among The General Public, What are people reading in my face?

I wonder that as a regular human.

And as a child of God.

And as a Mennonite.

When people see my face, do they see anger, distress, impatience, covetousness, lust, peace, joy, tranquility, happiness, contempt, fretfulness, coldness, suspicion, scorn, Jesus?

What do they see?

What do I want them to see?

What does God want them to see?

Hmmm. This sounds like Attention, Christians!

Well, to help you chew on that, chew on this:

The Mennonites I encountered growing up always aroused my curiosity. My observations made me sure they must be a humorless, fearful people. Being a bit shy myself which probably means I thought too much of myself, I didn’t try to initiate conversations with them. In the Bi-Mart on River Road they would catch me watching them. I would smile, they would smile back. Their facial expressions seemed so serious, even fearful, and I presumed anxious to get back to their safe little communities. At least, that’s how I perceived them.

I liked it that the girls were always in dresses, but I thought it odd that they wore sneakers with skirts. I suppose I would have ignored that if they had acted like they were more comfortable standing next to us in the check-out line. I knew their clothing was related to their faith, and I admired them for that. But I wondered, if they know God, why do they seem so depressed?

[…]

Had I been judging an entire community by a small handful of people who may be just having a bad day, or something?

Ouch! 😥

Read Kathy’s full post here: Hearing Heart Blog: Has the Mennonite Faith Changed, Or Have I? (Thank you, Mrs. Davis!)

So I ask again, Can the world see Jesus when they look at your life? And my face?

1 thought on “Attention, Mennonites!

  1. Good post, Mark. When we were brand new to the faith, we visited friends in the East. We noticed that many Mennonites showed an indifference to almost hostile attitude to people “on the outside.” While there was concern for mission work overseas, here in the States there was a “touch-me-not” attitude that many seemed to espouse.
    T. noticed it again when a few sisters here took her out to lunch for her birthday. They were stiff and uncomfortable, and preferred to let T. (the convert!) deal with the waitress.
    We’ve made an effort to gently encourage the brothers & sisters toward a greater friendliness when going into the public. Yes, they/we are uncomfortable with the screaming rock/rap/country music blaring from cars and the horrible TV’s playing everywhere we go, we must still make an effort to show the tenderness and beauty of Jesus. The light must outshine the darkness!
    PS: We will say, that these dear people a-l-l have made great effort to reach out to newcomers who visit the church, and have reached out individually to neighbors around them, too. It seems to be the idea of Christian going to Vanity Faire…

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