Let me explain:
Imagine yourself on vacation in a foreign country. Maybe your mind’s eye takes you to an urban metropolis where you take in the sights and sounds that only a place like Paris or Shanghai can offer. Or perhaps your dream destination is a nearly-secluded tropical villa serving umbrella-laden drinks all day long.
Got your vacation destination locked in? Good.
Next, imagine yourself browsing around some of the local shops. It’s probably one of those tourist trap places filled with cheesy “I went to [insert location] and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” shirts and stuffed animals embossed with whatever the city’s tourist slogan happens to be this year.
You’ve found a few items that pass the grunt test and you go to the cashier to pay—only, there’s a problem with your credit card machine. Suddenly, you and the cashier are trying to communicate with each other to solve this life-defining transaction of plush toys and tourist apparel when you realize that they don’t speak a word of English.
And that’s when it happens: you become an angry tourist.
In this moment of frustration at the inability to effectively communicate, you start to yell, scream, and insult their intelligence simply because they don’t know how to speak your language even though you are in their country.
It can be difficult news for people of faith to admit, but we now live in a post-Christian era, a time in history when the gospel narrative is no longer the story that our culture or country holds in common. In many ways, we must now consider ourselves foreigners speaking a different language even within our own country.