Friday, April 20, 2012

Shelter Those in Need (Or Immigration Part 2)

Exciting life moment! ...I got my hair cut. Or, as my dad would say, I got all of them cut. Yeah, It is a fairly common part of the routine of life, but I found a good place to get it done. The people are nice and, with the exception of once when the gal said that what I asked for wasn’t good and proceeded to cut it way shorter than I asked for, they do a good/great job.

But that is another story. This story is about an Afghan woman. I walked in and saw the offender of the previous experience cutting away at another poor fellow’s head and I thought I had better think fast. I didn’t want to be mean and request anyone BUT her, so I decided that I would request the gal who checked me in.

She was surprised and even blushed a little at my request! She looked over her glasses to see if she recognized me. I didn’t say anything. After the basics of showing her what I wanted I started to ask her questions.

She was from Afghanistan. Her family left the country to escape the Russians almost 30 years ago. They first went to Germany. In fact, some of her family are still there. But she explained to me that Germany is very different from the U.S.A. They were allowed to live there. They could hold a job. They could keep their culture. But they could not join the German culture.

In a sense they are tolerated because they serve an economic and social purpose. But they are forever outsiders. It is like being a contractor with a company. The people who work for the company get benefits, dental plans, retirement, vacation days, etc. Contractors don’t. They are outsiders who are brought in for a limited project.

My new friend felt this edge of coldness and isolation everyday. She wanted more. She moved to the United States. She wanted the American Dream. She loves America because unlike Germany, she was welcomed and not just allowed, but encouraged to become American. She still speaks with an accent. She still holds on to her roots, but she is American. She struggles with American things like how to save enough money to see her adored grandchildren in California. She earns a paycheck cutting people’s hair. She loves her husband and misses her grown children.

She fled to Germany to seek freedom from Communism. She then fled the isolation of Germany, seeking a better life in the United States. She now lives proudly as an American.

The Bible talks about taking in the stranger. It reminds us to shelter those in need. This woman is a reminder that, although she was oppressed, the United States rose above the international status quo and welcomed her with open arms. Remember to take the time in your life to love with open arms. It might change a life.


Read the rest:
What Makes America Great (Or Immigration Part 1)
Family of Love (or Immigration Part 3)
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