A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A letter to my Muslim sisters, who labor for justice and dream of peace

I think of you, as I wash dishes and pay bills. I wonder if your life resembles more the daily of my hopes or the chaos of my fears. As a cruel video sets the world a spin once more, I imagine your strong voice unheard in the din of extremism. I see your quiet livelong actions, witness to a better way. In my mind’s eye, I watch as you work to keep your children safe and sane.

I do too.

I know my life to be comfortable and secure. But I’m no stranger to extremism right next door. How is it that people lean in to hear the voice that speaks loudest and tune out an entirely overlooked, life-breathing chorus?

The radio and TV shout angry Christian rhetoric (mostly men) and to prove their point, splash up images of angry Muslims (mostly men). And we listen. We see. We believe.

I step away from the rush and seek out other sources and discover a whole new world where hate doesn’t lead the dance. But these are quieter voices.

What is that saying about the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results? History is a great teacher. Will we learn? Those who demand attention, power, pride, seldom speak truth. Justice isn’t front page news. Dreams of peace seem to wait for us in the shadows of the day.

Your Holy Book says, “God guides those who seek His good pleasure into the ways of peace, bringing them out from the shadows into the light by His act of will and guiding them into a straight path.”

If the sounds of peace are quiet, perhaps our world needs to tune its collective ear to the mighty power of the ant or the won’t be denied force of tree roots pushing deeper and deeper towards the source of Being as its leaves drink in Light and Life. Peace may be quiet, but the earth knows no more powerful drive for all that is Holy and Sacred. Could we finally learn the lesson history wearies of teaching?

In my Holy Book we are instructed to look to our children as guides for that which is right and true. A quieter voice in the global conversation I cannot imagine. My mother ears are tuned. I hear the wisdom.

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