Where am I?
This place is different…
the sounds, the smells, the sights.
I hear words I can’t understand,
cars and trucks honking their horns,”
and strange music floating in the air.

I smell roasting meat and baking bread,
mingled with the odor of car exhaust
and the pungent scent of hot tar.
I see houses of many bright colors,
people hanging out on every corner,
and street vendors hawking newspapers, gum, or souvenirs.

This is a large, modern city,
yet so unlike where I’ve come from.
I ask for grace to learn how to drive.
I pray my ears will understand a foreign tongue.
I seek patience to learn new ways of life.
It all seems so strange to me.

Then, one day a neighbor visits me.
She listens patiently to my faltering speech.
I sense her tender heart,
and through her smile,
suddenly, God gives me new perceptions:
I hear children laughing as they play in the street,
I smell the sweetness of orange blossoms,
I look into the eyes of an orphan girl,
and I realize—
that God is bigger than our differences,
that although I am a stranger,
this place can be my home.


©2004 Thrive


View the original print magazine where this article was first published.