It’s Time to Pass the Mic

(in)courage | 9/20/2019 | Staff
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“So, tell me about yourself.”

It was a simple enough question. I was talking with a woman I had just met the week before at church. In an effort to get to know each other better, we had joined up for a playdate with our babies and were now sitting on the floor amidst toys and a good deal of noise. Being a church planter and pastor’s wife, I was used to conversations that focus on other people’s lives. In truth, I assumed most of this hangout would be spent getting to know this lady, so I quickly rambled off a few facts about my life in Austin and our church before trying to place the proverbial ball back in her court.

Friend - Question - Story - Could - Culture

But my new friend wanted to know more. Instead of answering my question, she continued, “You know, I’d really love to hear your story. Could you tell me more about your culture and what it means for you to be Indian?”

I was stunned.

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No one really asks me that. But here was this woman I’d barely met wanting to know the real me. Not just Michelle, the church planter, or Michelle, the mom. She wanted more than a polite answer about my professional life and which Netflix show I was currently watching. Instead, it felt like she was passing me the mic and saying, “It’s your turn. Speak up.”

To my utter amazement, we spent much of our time together talking about the parts of me that I rarely express openly. We talked about cultural identity, my struggles as a woman of color, but also the things I take pride in as an Indian-American. We talked about how my faith and my culture intersect. She shared parts of her story too, but she mostly listened.

I had never felt more known or more...
(Excerpt) Read more at: (in)courage
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