Inviting the Stranger ...

into your heart!
Sometimes it seems that one person's pain is greater than another. Pain is pain and when you hurt --- well, it is just that. I have had and heard conversations that seem to say that Islam is bad, suspect. People I love feel that way and it has drawn an invisible wedge between us. Then I think of my friend Jomana and Suna, women who came and sat with me at my mother's wake and later funeral--who grieved with me and loved her and me. Look--I'm going to ask a favor. I'm going to ask that you take the face of those that you fear and put the face of someone you love over that face. What do you feel now? Rumi says:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet
them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each
has been sent as a guide from beyond.

For the personal self and the neighbor, the lesson is great when we receive. Yesterday it was the Japanese, then the Jew. Later, we had to fear the Russians and of course, the Mexicans and the Blacks (well, you know ... wink, wink). Those people. Distrust. Hurt. Anger. Invite them in. And then get a grip on yourself and know that it is a reflection of what you find wrong with yourself.
      Here's what I want to know. Where are the conversations about faith? Where are the conversations about forgiveness? When do we cease judging and starting planning, changing, evolving? Where is our humanity in the quest to understand how we live in this world? Answer my questions, please. I'm tired of wondering.
     A wacky peacemaker on the quest for understanding. Won't you join me?
     Peace? We'll see.


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