About the Author

Michelle Reyes, Ph.D., is an Indian American pastor’s wife, writer, and activist. She is also the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and writes regularly on faith, culture, and justice. Michelle lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two kids. Follow her on IG @michelleamireyes.

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  1. To often we can judge. Because we see people from Different parts of the world coming into our country. With different colors of skin. We can say why don’t they stay in their wone country. We as Christians have not judge them for coming into our country. If we listened to their storys had the kind of life they had we want out and better life for ourselves. As most of them come over here to get a better life for their friends themselves and their families. We should not be judging them we should be praying for them. I pray for them. As most of them don’t know Jesus or have not heard about Jesus. Like the kids song says Jesus loves all the Children of the world Red and Yellow Black and White. We as his followers are to do the same. Do as Jesus would want as to do be kind to them. If we handed them the mike. Heard their stories we maybe start to cry and want to put our hands round them and say Jesus loves you. Can I pray for you. Also it if we heard their stories and what they are going through it might make us more caring as God people. Plus more thank full. For all that he has given us. Also that we where never brought up in a contries like that. That we never had to suffer what theses people or kids go through. So let PRAY FOR THEM. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxxx

    • Hi Dawn, I absolutely agree. It is not our right to judge, but rather to listen and to love. We must also remember our own history, and that each of us immigrated to this country at one point. That is also the story of our ancestors in the Bible. So, yes! I am with you. Let’s keep praying and staying rooted in God’s word.

  2. I want to get serious about listening, Michelle. Hearing the hearts around us is a gift we give to our people, and sometimes all we have to do is ask a question and then be quiet. Interesting that the Hebrew for King Solomon’s “understanding heart” is, literally, “listening heart.”

  3. Thanks for sharing this story, Michelle. The message that we all need time together in person in conversation is reverberating all around me these days. Our church is getting ready to launch a new way for women to do that and while I’m helping facilitate the conversations by introducing the topics, this reminds me that the most valuable thing we can do is give each woman a safe space to share her story. And if we feel awkward asking the “What’s it like for you to be __________ in our community?” may we remember that ultimately what matters isn’t asking the right question, but having a heart that sees others and wants to get to know them more. Maybe “asking questions in love” is as or even more important than speaking the truth in love. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Amen! I love that, Melissa. This sounds like an incredible ministry, and I know women will feel both loved and empowered by just giving space for them to share their stories.

  4. What a beautiful gift it is, to be able to share and hear each other’s stories! Thank you for this reminder today.
    I have lots of stories to share (which weren’t particularly welcome until the Representation Matters movement last year!), and I am blessed to be in a community of women around the world who are experiencing things outside of their own cultures. It’s interesting to see how these can bring different perspectives on the word of God as well! 🙂

  5. Hi Michelle,

    Great message! As I read your story, I thought about God’s Word where Paul declares, “We are many parts, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27 NIV). When we read these verses, we think about the many gifts that God has bestowed on us to build His Kingdom, which the scripture leads to. However, our many parts also demonstrate our many cultures and ethnicities. Not only does our gift build God’s Kingdom but our diversity illustrates how vast and wide (Ephesians 3:18 NIV) the supremacy of our Heavenly Father encompasses. You’re absolutely right that being able to share our story to someone initiates man’s healing process. Thanks for sharing. Charisse 🙂

    • I love this, Charisse, and completely agree. Each of our lives and our stories reflect a piece of God. Listening to others has deep, theological roots, and it’s part of what it means for us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  6. MIchelle,

    God gave us two ears to hear & one mouth to speak. It is so easy to judge people by looking at them. Making snap decisions about people based on race or perceived thoughts. With global travel & international students coming here for schooling-it would behoove us to learn more about the various cultures. Don’t judge a whole group of people-ie: Muslims-based on a few people’s actions. Instead of letting fear get you talk to these people. Ask them deep questions about their country & how they feel living in our society. Then sit back & really listen. Take time to honestly understand their background & heritage. I know Jesus would do just that. He would take time out of His schedule to chat with people & get to know & understand them. How else can we love everyone as God loved us unless we first get to know them.

    Blessings 🙂

    • I love your comment about two ears and one mouth. That’s awesome! Also, yes, this is why we need to smash cultural stereotypes. We are all individuals. We do not represent whole people groups. I share some similarities with other Indians, but I am also like no other Indian too. Comments like, “all white people…” or “all black people…” will never be true. That’s why we need to build relationships with people, and get to know them for who they are, not who we think they should be.

  7. Thank you, Michelle. Our oldest daughter and her family left their home in rural US to minister to the First Peoples of BC. Your words are very helpful to share with others as we seek to build a home team for them in our local church.