Humility, squatting, and how to be an effective Kingdom worker
After living in Central Asia for a while, the culture seems more normal. We've been through our first two orientation years and I can now cook a meal or host a tea the Central Asian way. Things in the culture generally don't surprise me anymore, and even though I can feel uncomfortable in cultural situations at times, there is nothing really that shocks me. It's easy to feel a bit prideful of how much I've learnt.
Part of what I do in Central Asia is basic rehabilitation with children and adults with disabilities.
One day, after a teammate and I had been with a little girl with cerebral palsy, her mother posted a lovely photo on Facebook with an excited message to tell everyone that, on that day, her daughter had sat all by herself for the very first time. I was delighted at her determination and persistence to keep improving. But as I looked more closely at the photo, I realized that the girl wasn't sitting, she was squatting!
What some people call the "Asian squat" is how everyone around here sits - legs apart, knees completely bent, heels on the floor, bottom inches from the floor but never touching it. People can sit like that for hours at the side of the road, waiting for busses or work or just to have a chat with a neighbour.
As part of treatment, I'd had this girl practice her transitions from lying to sitting to standing and back to lying. I had worked extensively on sitting balance with her - sitting on a bench, sitting cross-legged on the floor. Basically, sitting the way I'd been taught was correct in my Western medical education.
I'd never encouraged her to sit the Asian way.
I realized that this was an area of life that I had compartmentalized. I hadn't allowed Central Asian culture to influence my Western medical education and way of doing things.
It was humbling to realize how single-minded I had been.
It was an amazing reminder that, to be effective Kingdom workers, we need to be humble, to constantly consider ourselves as learners, to never get too comfortable or confident but rather to constantly look for new ways to improve and learn.
And now, I'm off to study the muscles and components needed to do an effective Asian squat!
...do justice ...love kindness ... walk humbly with your God- Micah 6:8