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Tag: identity

Not My Own

Not My Own

“I am not my own. I am bought with a price.” The woman recited the words quietly, without power of voice or presence. A petite, white-haired woman in a simple polyester dress, she spoke simply and matter-of-factly as she told the small youth group her story.  Although I had read many stories of cross-cultural workers, she was one of the first I had heard give her story in person. Her name was Orlena Boyle, and she spent almost 50 years…

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God Breathed by Rut Etheridge

God Breathed by Rut Etheridge

I am my own and I am mine. In the West, we live by this mantra. We proclaim it with exuberance and pride. We write stories and sing about our freedom to be ourselves, to follow our own hearts, to not be restrained or limited by anything outside of ourselves. We’ve cut ourselves free. But what if instead of breaking the chains, we’ve cut off the oxygen? It’s not hard to see that this is the case. Pervasive loneliness and…

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“I’m American”

“I’m American”

Less than 100 metres from our home lies the most diverse suburb in Australia, boasting representatives from 112 of the world’s 196 countries. While a dominant Australian culture structures public life, social etiquette and expectations, different cultures regularly interact in my neighborhood, at the shops, at work and at church. With each interaction, expectations can shift, even if slightly, and I need to regain my bearings as to what is normal.  For most of my life, my culture — American,…

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