V I E W S . // By pure chance/luck (or as I’d like to think it, by God’s design), I had the unique pleasure of sitting down and having tea with an Iranian gentlemen this weekend. As my father, my brother, and I shared a snack of pistachios, dates, and fruit with him in his immaculate living room, this gentleman began to share with his story with us, a group of complete strangers.
He told me about his coming to this country, seeking opportunity in a land of promise, leaving behind his beloved homeland barely four years ago. He shared about his wife, who he painstakingly brought over from Iran through legal immigration, and how they were able to raise their son, who wasn’t much older than my own. And in his somewhat broken English, he articulated how his wife and child had gone back to Iran to be at his father-in-law’s deathbed, only be trapped in the Middle East by an arbitrary and non-discerning policy change made by a protectionist Administration. When he told us that he hadn’t seen his wife and his son in over two years, my heart broke and felt tears sting my eyes, watching as my father’s welled up in unison. •
I was made speechless by the way this gentlemen demonstrated such grace in the re-telling of his story, never blaming the travel ban, never voicing a single word of outrage or frustration. He seemed simply content to patiently wait for his bride and beloved son to safely return home. I don’t know if I was just so struck by his story, or if I’d been so taken aback by his forthrightness, his willingness to share such intimate details with people he barely knew. Either way, I wish I’d had the words to give him hope, the courage to pray for him and his family; I didn’t, but thankfully I am certain our paths will cross again.
Until then, I praise God for our little “chance” encounter and fervently hope that even for just a little while, sitting in the midst of three Taiwanese men, this gentlemen felt like he wasn’t so alone in his adopted country. It really doesn’t take a lot to change your perspective; one man’s story can completely alter your view of the world in a matter of minutes. #Perspective