This post is from a friend, Tammie Gitt on her blog living3368. When I read it I wanted to say “amen.”
Xenophobia and donuts
A few years ago, our town finally got a for-real Dunkin Donuts. Prior to that, it was regional chains or grocery store donuts for us. Most of the employees in those early days were obviously of Indian descent who spoke perfectly understandable English with an accent. The store was neat and clean. The donuts were delicious. Service was prompt.
Across town, there was another donut shop — one of the regional chains. I remember pulling up to their drive-though before church now and then to order a maple-frosted donut. More often than not, I would wait a considerable length of time before they would ask for my order. Sometimes, I would wait only to be told to pull up to the window to order. Service was slow and the property looked like it could use some help.
Within days of the Dunkin Donuts opening, this shop across town put a new message up on its outdoor sign — “Proudly American owned and operated.”
I never went back to that store again. Clearly, the sign was put up in response to the ethnic background of the employees/owners of the Dunkin Donuts franchise. I remember thinking, “Who are they to say the people at Dunkin Donuts aren’t Americans? They could be naturalized or working towards their citizenship.”
It was plain and simple, profit-seeking xenophobia. I guess they were thinking customers would overlook the poor service in the glaring light of the shop’s patriotism.
Here’s the question: Are we making judgments on a person’s citizenship in the kingdom of God based on outward appearances?
All too often it happens among church folks. Too many tattoos? Can’t be a Christian. Piercings? Certainly not a Christ-follower. Doesn’t go to church? Not going to heaven either. Doesn’t tithe? OK, maybe a Christian but not a good one.
It’s our own version of xenophobia. We come to these conclusions without getting to know the people. What’s the story behind the tattoos and piercings? Does the neighbor who doesn’t go to church have a medical problem? And the one who isn’t tithing? Maybe they’re just trying to get through the week with a warm house, proper electrical service and food on the table.
Let’s stop judging and start talking. Stop walking away and start walking in their shoes.
Oh, and those donut shops? Dunkin Donuts is still busy every morning. The other one closed down a year or two ago and an Arby’s was built in its place.
Kinda makes you wonder.