Exiles in a Weird
(and Wonderful) World
Two slender hands reached out, pulling my daughter toward a booth filled with combs and clips
pg. 10 — lightandlifemagazine.com
By Jill Richardson
and assorted cheap but pretty hair goods. The shop owner began to caress Beth’s hair, combing
it and pinning tiny butterfly clips in it so they fluttered around her head. By this time, we weren’t
startled. That a stranger would be entranced by our 6-year-old’s appearance had become normal.
We got used to this during our two weeks in China. Strangers routinely oohed and aahed at our
youngest child, put her in their family photos, and even wrote a news story featuring her. They
had never seen a little girl with long, light brown hair and hazel eyes. She was not of their world.
Christians have heard this phrase “be in the world but not of it” forever — though it’s not ever
explicitly stated in Scripture. We’ve created a multitude of rules surrounding it, and, as a result,
we’ve created more confusion than clarity. What do those two small prepositions — in and of —