In Addis Ababa two summers ago, I was turned away from visiting an Orthodox church because I was Catholic. To me, this was confusing– why was I being discouraged from learning about this religion when I was just interested?
But then I met a group of roughly seven year-old girls in the yard of a smaller church. One little girl shyly approached me, and soon enough a crowd of children had gathered, asking me questions and stroking my hair and the skin on my arms.
They asked me if I was white because Mary came down to kiss me. They asked if they would look like me if they came to my country. They showed me a tattered picture of Jesus. I looked down at the white man on the paper in my hands. No wonder, I thought to myself.