Awareness: From Self to Others

This week I have noticed time again that so much hurt comes from either a lack of external or internal awareness. For example, I heard a publishing professional say that Asian American Christians can’t only write for Asian American Christians, because there isn’t enough of an audience. I quickly googled it, and there are over seven million Asian American Christians in the US. It’s a big country, but that is no small number regardless.

This man lacked both types of awareness. He lacked external awareness, because he didn’t know the data and then made a statement based on his false assumptions on what the data should look like; he also most likely lacked internal awareness, because he didn’t have the state of mind to even cast doubt on his own assumptions. My guess is that the only reason he even assumed there weren’t many Asian American Christians is because he simply doesn’t hang out with many.

Unfortunately, these assumptions have dire consequences, including a greater barrier into publishing for Asian American Christian writers who want to write for others with these identities.

(Also, just a quick note, but another assumption he made is that only members of the same identities will read books aimed at certain identities, but as any person of color who has grown up in the US will tell you, they’ve spent most of their lives reading books by white authors for white audiences… anyway…)

I wish this were a one time occurrence, but all we have to do is look around, and we’ll find more and more examples of hurt due to a lack of awareness. On a more mundane level, many have hurt themselves while exercising because they didn’t realize they had poor form. I know I’ve also emotionally hurt myself by choosing to watch movies with endings that I was not mentally prepared for.

Moreover, I’ve found a lack of awareness damaging to my relationship with God. So many times I’ve been angry with Him or anxious about what He was doing because I was unaware of His perspective and intention for my life and for the lives of those I love. We know generally that God is love, but to know specifically what that means and what that doesn’t mean is too hard a question for any human to answer.

And that’s an issue for us humans–our humanness is always getting in the way and trying to get in between God and us. It’s always so incredibly hard to get around it, because we can’t completely get around it. Through God’s grace, we work with it. Still, it can be a wearisome and imperfect journey.

I’m sorry, but I do not have an answer as to how to overcome a lack of awareness. We will never fully get rid of the hurt that arises from it, because we will never have the propensity to fully understand what we know and don’t know. Once again, we will need more and more of God’s grace.

I do, however, have a suggestion. The next time we ourselves feel hurt or cause hurt, we should ask ourselves: how has my own or someone else’s lack of awareness played into any of the experienced hurt?

It’s a place of humility to admit we ourselves may not be such experts on everything happening in the world and in ourselves, but without that humility, how will God ever teach us? How will we ever learn?

So, I have hope for myself and for others that we will learn. Slowly but surely, we will be able to show and receive more of the love of God. Until then, we must keep trying, with our eyes fixed steadily on the One who will help us along the way. Thank You, Jesus.

And thanks to you all for reading this week’s musings. šŸ™‚

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