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Bringing out the Best
Theme of the Week: Practicing Unity
Friday, January 24, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. (1 Thessalonians 5:15, The Message)

Dig Deeper: 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15

To complete his dissertation, a graduate student was required to live with a Navajo family for several months. The matriarch of the family, a wise old grandmother, spoke no English, and this doctoral student spoke no Navajo. Yet a bond began to be forged between them, partly with the help of the old woman's children, who spoke English. The student and the grandmother grew to be very close.

When the graduate student had gathered all of his data, it was time for him to return to the university. The members of the Navajo village threw a farewell party for him. After the party, as he was getting ready to get into his car, the grandmother hurriedly walked out of the house, tears streaming down her cheeks. She came right up to the student (the first white friend she'd had in her 82 years of life), tenderly placed one hand on the left side of his face and the other hand softly on his right cheek, looked him square in the eyes, and said in the best English she could muster, "I like me best when I'm with you."

At that, the young man lost it. He and the grandmother wept together because they had personally experienced how crossing cultures brings out the best in you.

—David D. Ireland in The Skin You Live In

My Response: What was a cross-cultural experience I had that changed me or brought out the best in me?

Thought to Apply: Stay is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary.—Amos Bronson Alcott (educator)

Adapted from—The Skin You Live In by David D. Ireland, copyright 2012. Used by permission of NavPress—navpress.com. All rights reserved.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, please help me to be persistent and patient in seeking out meaningful friendships with people from other cultures or ethnicities.

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