02 May 2016

i am a missioner so i can judge you.

Ashley and I are Maryknoll Lay Missioners living and working in Tanzania. If you have followed this blog for more than a couple weeks, that much should be obvious (I hope). Over the past two and half years, we have waxed philosophic about what it means to be a missioner.

We said Hallmark card-worthy things like, a missioner is "one who deliberately chooses to enter into the reality of life of another person, a reality that is quite foreign to the missioner, be it culturally, economically, etc., in order to mutually learn from one another and strive towards a more just and compassionate world." And we also questioned ourselves, wondering if we are even legit missioners, asking things like, "Are you a missioner if you don't like going to church?" (Clearly we are not the ones constructing church buildings, distributing bibles or “saving” people.)

But the thing is, there is another side to the life of a missioner. A dark side. No, not like Star Wars. (Okay now I’m kind of wishing mission life was like Star Wars.) The dark side I’m talking about is this: feeling a sense of superiority and license to judge others.