My son has a new friend.
Living outside of the US, we have grown accustomed to the differences in our cultures.
As Americans, we’re brought up to be reserved. Children should be “seen but not heard”— how many times have we heard that, or said/ thought it?
Generally as Americans, we learn certain boundaries when inside other people’s homes. We wait to be invited into rooms, or ask to get drinks.
We are taught not to touch things.
The culture my family lives within right now, they view and teach their children much differently.
So, the first day I met my son’s new friend, I was surprised and amused by how comfortable he is in our home.
First— he had a very strong knock. He is confident, relaxed, friendly, and he made himself right at home. My son was in the bathroom, when he arrived. Neither of us knew he was coming over. He wandered around our small living room, just looking at everything. He petted the dog and one of our cats.
Then, he surprised me by going into my son’s room, grabbing his Switch, and then walked back to the living room, playing it.
Had a friend not told me about her experiences with children in her neighborhood actually going into her home and just hanging out, carefully playing with her kids’ toys, while she and her family were at the store, I probably would not have reacted graciously.
So, I guess I was a bit prepared.
He comes over nearly everyday now. He’s eaten meals with us, watched some American tv shows with us, and he and my son often play a Playstation game. My husband has played the game with them once or twice, as well. He gets a drink of water when he’s thirsty, and he cleans up when he spills something. He’s always polite, always pleasant, and he is helpful.
I’ve met his parents, both are from different cultures than ours. Lovely people. They aren’t Christians, so I’m learning to maneuver through their expectations of their son being in our Christian home, respecting the boundaries for that, while not doing things differently than our normal.
Living as Jesus leads without being obnoxious and scaring them off.
Because of this situation my thoughts lately have been about the boundaries we tend to expect God to “honor”.
I think we— me for sure— can tend to have an American expectation of God to “behave” on our terms. He can enter when and where I invite Him— but I don’t want Him to go into certain “rooms”, or touch specific issues of my heart.
What I want is to let down my guard, to not worry, or try to control how God works in my life.
Just as my son’s friend makes himself at home, I want God to freely go from room to room in my life, and do what He wants, when He wants.