A few days ago, I was holding little Abdi (not his real name) because he wasn’t old enough to play the game New City folks were running at the White City Kids Club. Playing with his chubby fingers, I tried to keep him occupied. Then I started to sing a nursery rhyme I remembered from my childhood:
“This little piggy went to market…” Stop! I thought in my mind, “I can’t sing a little song about pigs to a little M-lim boy!”
Abdi had joined the club because some of the New City staff had invited his mother to come while walking over to the White City Estate. She came with her two young children and brought her younger brother who is in primary school. I met Abdi’s father as well, when he stopped by on the way to work, to drop something off to his wife.
I learned several lessons that morning:
- We can’t assume that M-lims won’t want to come to an event held at a church building. Like most mothers, Abdi’s mother was looking for something safe and fun for her children to do during the Easter school break.
- We must be thoughtful in our approach to playing with M-lim children, but it’s better to try and make mistakes than keep a safe distance. Some of the little games that worked other children (“steal the bacon”) may need to be adjusted.
Kindness shown to the ‘outsider’ can open up doors to new relationships. Only God knows where these relationships will lead but we need to be willing to take the steps to get them started. But once started they can lead to real and lasting friendships in which the deeper truths of life are shared, enjoyed, and explained.
Are there opportunities for you to show the love Christ to those around you? Are you willing to take a chance and invite those “outsiders” into your circle of influence?