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THE UNMALLEABLE IN ME

I didn't want to change.

Born and raised in the suburbs, middle-class, college educated, WASP, I found myself pastoring a church in the inner city of Chicago. The neighborhood was Catholic, blue-collar, run-down, an amalgam of white-ethnic and Mexican. Our building sat across from a housing project. I balked at calling this place home.

One weekend, I had an opportunity to get away, to preach in my home church in Bloomington, Illinois. When the last vestiges of city and suburb were in my rearview mirror, I sighed in relief. For the next two hours I soaked in the beauty of the expansive cornfields. Later, as I shook hands and conversed with old friends, one thought echoed in my mind: It's good to be home.

Two days later, through a dirty haze, unwelcome landmarks assaulted me: gray factories, smoldering smokestacks, clogged highways.

But eight years later my name is still on the same stationery. By God's grace I eventually adapted to foreign soil. Looking back, I see three attitudes that delayed ...

December
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