By: Emily Anderson
My parents’ generation, growing up in the 50’s where the shadow of the U.S.S.R. loomed ominously, was raised in distrust and fear of Russia and Russians. Cold, cruel and communist, surely it was a country and people not only mysterious and unkind, but opposed to the vibrant and free American dream for which their parents and peers fought.
Blessed with an opportunity to travel to Russia with Orphan's Tree in the 2000s, that fear melted away at the tables of a warm and hospitable community eager to share life stories over good food and laughter. Conversation of art and architecture, beauty and hope, pain and possibility pushed aside ignorant curtains on both sides to reveal that they were, really, very much alike.
It’s a wonderful example of how easy it is, against God’s perfect judgment, to allow the world undue influence. In this case, it was politically born. In other instances misconception might begin at religion, race, or social media. Even in the small day-to-day contact with neighbors and strangers, what (or who) is shaping our actions, our words, and our inner thoughts? Undoubtedly the world’s, yes, but also and most certainly Christ’s! And knowing He can outshout, outshine, and out love all that is of this world, even the broken views deep in our culture, let us ask Him to overpower what’s false and infected, and transform our hearts to be as open tables of good food and good conversation.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
images: School children in a “duck and cover” 1950's bomb drill; Kitchen Conversation by Rau Emil; Milkmaids by Nicolai Baskakov