Do you see this little picture?
Last Sunday it apparently caused some guests at our concert a big problem. And it wasn't the guitar or the Buddha that got their goat: it was the gold-platted replica of the Qu'ran written in Arabic. "What is THAT doing here?" one older woman asked my beloved. "What are you asking?" she replied. To which both the older man and woman pointed to the Arabic writing: "THAT!" they spat out. And before Di could reply, one said, "Is it because you respect ALL religions?" To which Dianne quickly nodded before they shook their heads in disbelief: "That's what we thought."
Two things: this representation of the opening of the Qu'ran originally was given to me by my friend upon his return from deployment during the second Gulf War. The original was stolen during our move so I replaced it when we were in London. Not only does it remind me of his sacrifice and courage, but also our shared commitment to building a future where war is no longer necessary. What's more, as my own deep ecumenism has matured, I believe it essential to remind those in the Christian ghetto that we honor the same God as Muslims and Jews (and everyone else for that matter!)
Today at midday Eucharist I shared this encounter with those sharing a common cup and they expressed true shock. We had just prayed that our Muslim sisters and brothers be kept safe from judgment and retribution by ignorant and hateful Christians.. So we're going to KEEP this small multi-faith altar up until Easter now as a small sign of our solidarity.
Oh yes, one more thing, please notice where this little altar sits in the bigger picture: some people really need to get a life and quit looking for the little things that divide us. This is the age of common ground.
And just for the record, in this pictures are Christians, Jews, Muslims, non-believers and Unitarian-Universalists ALL singing for peace. Come on now people, smile on each other, everybody get together try to love one another right now.
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