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. Michelle,
    I think the reason I love my job as a crossing guard so much is because I get to interact with children and parents from many different countries and with many hues of skin. I’m learning words in several languages – particularly words of greeting and welcoming. It’s fun. It is amazing how people open up like a beautiful rose if you start asking some questions that show interest in them as a person. I think Jesus was a good listener (vs. continual talker) and that drew people to Him. I’m trying to take my cues from Him. Also, having worked for 8 years with a global ministry that helps orphans and impoverished children in hard to reach countries, I have learned that I have much in common with my brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe. I wholeheartedly agree that we need to value ALL people and let their lives rub off on ours. Lovely post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I love that, Bev, and completely agree. Valuing people means being good listeners, asking questions, and genuinely caring about their lives. We need to “let their lives rub off on ours” – couldn’t have said it better myself!

  2. Coincidence that I am reading this as I prepare to board a plane for India today? I think not! The Lord works in many wondrous ways!

  3. I love the fact that even before I was saved. I have cousin yes her name is Moon. Yes Moon. You might find that wearied. But that is what her Mum my Dads Sister decided to call her. Infact the name suits her. Moon my cosin is not saved. Has a daughter of her own a single parent. Why I value people of all walks of life Moon my cousin has sallow skin. It is not white it is nor brown brown it is inbetween. You know by her skin in not whilte like mine or brown brown but different to mine. I and my sisters plus the rest of our family has never seen Moon as different. Moon Dad we have never met. So we don’t know really what color his sinks is. We probably never will meet him. Moon Mum my Dads sister never married. Moon Mum not saved. I have got used to people with all walks of life in another way as well especially when I used be a Childminder. I was saved then. I was looking after a we boy from a baby. His parents Philippine’s. They are saved. They love me. We are still friends today. Even though they no longer live here in Enniskillen. So it has taught me from my cousin Moon as we child to value people of all ages no matter what their color or skin type. Especially more so since getting saved. Learning that kids song in Sunday School when small all thoes years ago. As today it so true. As we are all God’s Children. I am so thank full to my parent’s who even my late mum. I do hope to see her Glory one day. I did pray for her salvation. Thank full. Both my parent’s for sending me to Sunday School. As I learnt the song there. It is Jesus Love all the little children of the world Red and Yellow Black and White. How true that is. As we are his Children. I am glad to be his child. I pray for my family to one day come to know Jesus. I valule all people. As they are all beautiful in God’s eyes. We are all Daughter’s of the King. I say Amen to that. I am glad I got to be a Registered Childminder for 19 years. As it taught me alot. To love all God we Kids I looked after. I was able to teach the about Gods love as most of them didn’t come from Christian Family. I brought things into their lives in a nice way. Not to pushey. Like PSALTY the singing song book. I got it on dvd. The kids I looked after loved it. So in a nice way they heard about God. Plus read them nice kids Bible story books. Done coloring in picture of Bible things. Plus ordinary coloring and ordinary story’s as well. Plus we had ordinary kids programs. I did not go to far to let the parents think I was being to pushey with it. But PASTLY was a big hit with them. I like today’s reading. I like all the reading. From you all incourage. Thank you for writing them. I learn so much from them. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

    • Amen, Dawn. I’m so thankful for how God drew you to himself, and for the ways he has used your own family to see the beauty of all peoples. Thanks for sharing your story with us today.

  4. This is good stuff …but often we forget that adults with disabilities (physical, mental illness and/or intellectual) are the largest hidden people group among us. Many only have “friends” with people who are paid to be with them and often times they don’t feel welcome in churches (for good reason because they can cause our traditions to be ruffled). We have to move out of our comfort zone and be Jesus to those affected by disability also.

    • Absolutely! We must see the image of God in all peoples, whether that be the poor, the homeless, the immigrant, or a person who is physically or mentally impaired. We are all of equal value and worth, for no other reason than the fact that we are all God’s children. And, yes, we must go out of our way and get out of our comfort zones to make ALL people feel welcome. So glad you brought this up, Kathi.

  5. “This brown-skinned Jewish man seamlessly related with both Jews and Gentiles, with people who shared His ethnicity and people who didn’t, and He beckons us to follow after Him.”

    I LOVE that!!!!! So often as western Christians we lose sight of (or even forget!) that Jesus was not a red-headed surfer from California (like so many movies and paintings portray Him!). He was a practicing Jew, He was Middle-Eastern, He most likely had dark hair and eyes, and He wasn’t afraid of mixing with those who were different from Him!

    Thank you for reminding us that we need to value everyone, after all, EVERYONE was made in God’s image! Red, yellow, black, and white, rich and poor, born and UNBORN, those who believe and those who are lost, We are ALL made in God’s image!

    • haha Jesus definitely was not a red-headed surfer from Cali. Yes, it’s important for us, as Christians, to remember that Jesus had a cultural identity, and his life and ministry attests to both the ways he embraced his Jewish identity and the ways he learned to culturally accommodate to others. This is the model for how we are to live as well.

  6. love that you mmentioned Yeshua as a Jew…you certainly don’t hear that out of most churches !! we have opened our home and lives to many cultures but I think not even noticing they were cultures..they were people first , I don’t notice that a taco is from one culture or that a design is from another..im blessed to bumble thru life first noticing the heart and intention of each person. my own family is 35 cultures so who could say anything against another culture anyway ???

    • Krissy, I love your heart for people. And I love that you have welcomed people into your home without question or asking them to change, first, who they are. That is my hope and prayer for us, collectively, as the body of Christ.

    • Thank you for reading! I’m glad that line encouraged you. It encourages me too 🙂

  7. “We value people — all people — because God made us all and is drawing all of us to Himself.” Yes, Michelle! I think this is so important to note. We don’t love others in spite of our differences or even because of our differences, but because we are all very much the same as image-bearers of God. And our cultures and unique stories and ethnicities all point back to a creative God who values beauty expressed in limitless ways. Thanks for the encouragement. xx

    • Thank you, friend! Yes, in many ways, the beginning of thriving, flourishing relations across cultures begins by seeing all peoples the way God does.

  8. Michelle,

    We as a country have to love each other unconditionally. The first step in doing that is to learn about other cultures. Talk to people of other cultures & like Jesus listen wholeheartedly to them. I worked at a university student health center for 8 years. We had numerous middle eastern students. It seemed scary at first. If you talked to them & treated them the same as others-you’d discover they are no different. Prejudice & bigotry must be eradicated in the Christian sphere. We need to show this world God’s love for everyone. Currently I live in a small rural town. We have mostly white Americans. Don’t often get to see people of other cultures. Travel a few miles into the next town & you will see a host of cultures. For me I try my best to treat everyone equally no matter what. We are all made in the image of Almighty God. He doesn’t see a difference in us-just forgiven sinners. Let’s all look at & love each other equally.

    Blessings 🙂

  9. Thank you for this! It’s important we reflect the love of Jesus by sharing life with ALL of God’s children. So appreciate your words.

  10. Good morning Michelle
    As a child of a dad who was a musician, drummer I had the pleasure of seeing many other musicians coming into our home. Trust me, they were a rag tag bunch of wonderfully creative people of all nationalities. I didn’t know any different way of looking at them . What a beautiful way to begin my childhood. It wasn’t until I left home that I really saw the discrepancies. It sickened me. However, I believe that we’re seeing a change, a conviction, conversations are becoming more honest and heartfelt. It’s only through blogs like yours and comments I read that this mindset will change! I love this post! Thanks for your challenge Michelle.

  11. “For Jesus, it was never about the cultural experience. It was always about the people of those cultures.”

    Oh, I love this. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a valued friend, or something more of a “collectible item” – how many times I’ve heard my own stories retold just so someone could say, “Well, I have this Asian friend who _____, so that’s how they do it”! Or people who explain my culture to me because they travelled to China/Japan/Korea this one time. I’m still learning how to speak gracefully of these experiences, and to engage in my own learning and loving others of different cultures.

    Thankful for your voice at incourage! <3