I know this might come as a shock to some, but I, like many people, do not like to be uncomfortable. This is funny now when I think about it, as I have found myself in many uncomfortable situations. I am a 6’4, bald, very white guy who has adopted three children from China, to put it bluntly, I stick out in most crowds! God must have a sense of humor and loves to watch us grow into our true self’s. I remember walking in china with my oldest daughter, we were there adopting her sister, everywhere we went we were starred at. I mean people stopped what they were doing to turn, point, and look at us!
One day just her and I went to get lunch at a very authentic Chinese restaurant called KFC, you may have heard of it! We sat, ate, smiled and laughed as fathers and daughters often do. The whole time we were there the entire restaurant sat and stared at us very quietly like we were a circus sideshow. Part of me was getting a little angry with the lunch crowd. I wanted to stand up and tell them that this little girl, who was abandon at three days old, now has a family and I am one of the proudest father’s you will ever meet, that she is amazing and has overcome so much. This would have been a stupid idea because I doubt a lot of them spoke English! Then I noticed something that was truly amazing they were all suddenly smiling at us. I mean full on, showing their teeth, and everything, risking it all for the sake of showing their emotional happiness, smiling at us.
This was is in northern China where you don’t see a lot of Chinese people smiling at westerners. Could I have misjudged the moment? Could the shame and judgment that I had felt moments ago on behalf of my precious girl, that felt like a 1000 pound weight, suddenly been lifted? Had the simple outward demonstration of the love of a father and daughter, no matter what the circumstances, shed light into their hearts, of the beauty of complete acceptance. Is it possible I miss read the moment? When I think about this moment in time I have to ask, is it possible to communicate something so amazing and as truly beautiful as a fathers love for his daughter, which transcends language barriers and cultural boundaries, by simply eating lunch together? I think a hundred smiling faces in Zhengzhou China eating some of the Colonel’s finest fried chicken would say yes! It is in these moments that I pray, God make me more uncomfortable so I can see and experience more of the things that are truly beautiful in this life.