"For the Church is not a human society of people united by their natural affinities but the Body of Christ, in which all members, however different, (and He rejoices in their differences and by no means wishes to iron them out) must share the common life, complementing and helping one another precisely by their differences." -C.S. Lewis
I pointed and smiled.
Inside I was saying, "Those, I want those." But it didn't matter what I wanted to say because I couldn't say it. The seller picked up a few of the oblong brown potatoes with her hands and put them in a plastic bag. Her little stand was spread out on the ground on a plastic tarp. She got out the calculator and typed in how much I owed her. In a country where most everything is done by bargaining, I thought I'd gotten a steal of a deal since I had passed the calculator back with my price typed in and she accepted. Problem was, I found out the next day from a Chinese friend that I'd paid almost ten times the amount of what I should have paid. Ten times. "Learn the language," I'd tell myself. I hired a local tutor, and picked up local dialect.
Since the beginning of time, people have wanted to communicate. However, language differences can't be ignored. Study, sweat, tears, practice. Repeat and add a test. Language and culture hold hands. They mutually work together, and one can't learn a language without learning culture. Many things in a language start to make more sense when one learns culture. The desire to understand the culture and the language deepens the bonds between people. Sometimes people desire to know another person and dialogue with them to understand them. And other times people want to pick a fight, or to say the way they do things is superior.
I wish, I long for a time when we, the church, won't be separated by cultural bounds and language barriers. She is still the church. She is still His body. Can we walk in love and accept other believers even when their church doesn't look like ours (in style, in language, in worship, in method)? When they don't wear the same clothes we do, or sing the same songs we do, can we accept them as redeemed? Because we are all on a journey and none of us have arrived. Clean your house, take care of the dirt in your heart. Just because His body looks different doesn't mean that the church isn't His. I think He quite intended for us to be diverse.