Monday, May 5, 2008


Caution: If you have a weak may not want to read this blog.
On the other hand, there is a great point in the end, so it may be worth trying.

The other day I was flying out of San Francisco for a business trip. I was in the waiting area at my gate, and I sat down on a group of chairs to wait. At the other end of this group of chairs (about 5) was an Asian businessman. This gentleman appeared to me to be a very smart, professional, executive level businessman. He was very well dressed, expensive business suit, a nice laptop (PC not Apple, that's how I knew he was really smart), and he appeared to not be an American businessman, but rather a foreigner. The reason I think this is the two times he was speaking was primarily in a foreign language, and the few comments in English had an extremely strong accent. Now before you start commenting, I realize this is my opinion and it is only based on a few outward observations, so don't go beating me up...but I need to explain my observations for this post to work, so hang in there.

As I was waiting, I was reading and after a little while, I began to hear what sounded like someone blowing their nose. As I glanced over, I noticed this gentleman blowing his nose into his hand, and then licking it off his hand. He did this 3 or 4 times until he was finished.

Of course might first thought was to gag, then my next thought was to offer a tissue, then my next thought was to just tell him how gross that was and that this is an unacceptable behavior in "my" country. After reviewing all my thoughts, I decided to do nothing.

Here is where it gets spiritual...

I don't know this gentleman and I certainly do not know his culture, his upbringing, life-style, etc. I have only drawn a few outward opinions based on some observations. Perhaps, in his culture or upbringing this is an acceptable practice. I don't really know.

Yet, how often do we in the church do that to our visitors. We make some brief outward observations, and then draw our opinion of people. Then when they do things in church that don't "fit" our culture we cast them out, point out their failures or help them to "see the light" in how we do things.

Instead, we should be trying to understand them, right where they are at. Their culture, upbringing, life-style choices, mistakes, successes and all of the other things in life that have made them who they are at this moment. Then love the heck out of them, and let God be the one to "fix" what He thinks needs to be fixed!

Maybe next time, I can offer to help the gentleman with his nose blowing.....nah, I think I will let that one go!


Kelly Rae said...

I don't know what to say except "Eeeewwwwhh!"

RWC said...

I like the post and get is often easy to find what we are doing wrong when instead we should be seeing what we are doing right. Thanks for the reminder!!!

Anonymous said...

I lick my snot all the time...I don't know what the big deal is :)

John's Daily Dose of 1.21 Jigawatts said...

Top doc backs picking your nose and eating it

Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor.

Innsbruck-based lung specialist Prof Dr Friedrich Bischinger said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies.

He says society should adopt a new approach to nose-picking and encourage children to take it up.

Dr Bischinger said: "With the finger you can get to places you just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner.

"And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system.

"Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.

"Modern medicine is constantly trying to do the same thing through far more complicated methods, people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free."

He pointed out that children happily pick their noses, yet by the time they have become adults they have stopped under pressure from a society that has branded it disgusting and anti social.

He said: "I would recommend a new approach where children are encouraged to pick their nose. It is a completely natural response and medically a good idea as well."

And he pointed out that if anyone was really worried about what their neighbour was thinking, they could still enjoy picking their nose in private if they still wanted to get the benefits it offered.

Go on - Try it! I expect Sunday mornings at church to be a lot more entertaining.