Sunday, October 17, 2010

Somewhere in the middle...

I'm on a blogging roll. Don't worry, it won't last. ;-)

Tonight was the first night back to Saturday night band nights. Sing went on a month long trip, and this was the first regular street live back. He was the only one playing though, but it was nice.

After he had finished, we were all hanging out talking when a couple of foreigners came over. They were two young college guys (one from Germany and one from Croatia.) Sing had fun talking to them, he loves meeting new people, especially foreigners. The guys were bored and looking for something to do. (I'm pretty sure they only came over because me and my roommate were there and they were looking for someone to go out with.) So in the course of introductions and such, they looked at me and said "You aren't Japanese. Where are you from?" To which Sing replied, "No, she's Japanese."

This is not the first time my friends have said this about me. I get comments like this frequently enough. But everyone knows it's not true. I'm not Japanese. But I'm enough Japanese now that I'm not quite fully American any more either.

My pastor pointed this out to me today. I was talking about how I should be OK either way things go, if my visa is accepted, or if I go back to America. I've been thinking of all the good points of going back to America. It would be exciting to be literate again, to be able to understand all my choices. It would be exciting to learn to ride a motorcycle, or go shooting with my dad and my brother. There's lots of things I would be able to do in America.

My pastor right now is actually Korean and has been in Japan for more than 20 years. She pointed out to me that when you have been in Japan long enough, something in you changes, and even though you go back, and can understand all the words and read all the letters, there's a gap. You have become partly Japanese and can never quite fit back in the mold you left.

I know I'm not Japanese. I can't read half of what I see. I still have many things I don't understand in the conversations around me. I don't have the cultural background that others do. But now I'm not a regular American either. Does this make me a Super American? Haha.

In any case, I've realized again that I now live as a foreigner in a foreign land. And if I return to America? I think I'll become a foreigner in a familiar land. Well come to think of it, I might be that now... In any case, it's much easier to understand when Jesus tells us we are no longer of this world. We are foreigners. I have been a foreigner long before I came to Japan. I've been one as long as I can remember. Because I became a member of God's kingdom.

ah, at one point there was a great deep profound point to all of this, but now it's 3AM and I'm not sure anything is coming out correctly anymore. It's time for bed.

(The boys left somewhat dissapointed that we wouldn't go out with them. They stayed talking with Sing for a really long time, until way past the time we normally go home, until finally Sing decided it was time to go. They were planning on staying out all night and invited us to go out with them. They are cute, but I think I'm too old for college boys now. Of course they didn't know that. ;-) At least they are less forward than some other foreigners I've met. But I digress.)

Oh yeah, on a different digression, God really blessed me tonight. I thought about what I could give to those around me, and of course nothing really came to mind, but I did try to be less needy. God really blessed me. We ran into one old friend and some old students of mine and Sing sang many of my favorite songs (including "Don't Go Away" which is an English song, and funny because I haven't told him about the visa problem yet.) It was a good night to be reminded that that is really my place, and God has blessed me so much there. I can't express how thankful I am for all the time that has been given to me. I hope I can carry that thankfulness with me wherever I go...

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