Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Process of Mestizaje

I rode the 'L' downtown today for a quick meeting, and was thinking alot about how messy and brutal the process of mestisaje (change, transformation, and re-creation) often is in our lives.

When Spaniard explorerers (lost as hell) stumbled upon Hispanola (into what is now the Dominican Republic) the blending of cultures was not pretty or even welcome by the indigenous population they encountered. The coming together of distinct peoples (mixing of races) can be called exploration, progress, domination, exploitation, all of which lead towards the process of mestizaje. The result of this mixture is always the birth of a new race/reality says Virgilio Elizondo, author of The Future is Mestizo, and a huge mentor for me in the area of my mestizo journey.

Thinking about many of my Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and other Mestizo/Mulato (usually seen as the mixing of African & Indigenous peoples) brothers and sisters, and their unique and amazing cultures, I wonder why it took such devestation to 'bring into being' these new (only 500 years old) cultures?

My Tejano (from Texas), Mejicano, Americano upbringing has also forged me into the person I am with great force and and sometimes devestation. Self identity issues. Lanuage issues. Confidence issues. Marginalization complexes. Victim mentality. Anger. Rage. Passion. Empathy. Creativity. Convicton. Deep burdens for the poor and the oppressed. All of these things are all part of my reality in the ongoing process of Mestizaje that I am going through...the process of being forged, and molded and transformed by God, not apart from my reality, but in and through all of my experiences and issues, into the person He has created me to be.

"For he has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise..."

I am so glad I have a God who is able and willing to take me just as I am ...and mold me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. (A Mestizo Jew from Galilee for a short while...who now sits at the right hand of the Father, and transends/embodies every culture known to humankind)


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