I went for a walk with a Muslim.
We searched for beauty along the way:
flowers crowding the sidewalk, the sun on the water.
We talked about our families, our children,
our hopes for their futures.
We shared some of our traditions,
those that speak truth to our hearts.
We admitted to yearning for faith and peace
in a world overcome with greed and violence.
We spoke of the love
found in the work of the Creator around us.
We dared to share deep, soulful ideas
and lost track of the time.
I went for a walk with a friend.
by Christine V. Hides
Note: I brushed this old piece off a few months ago when hate reared its ugly head. Now Islamophobia is on the rise again and I can no longer be silent. This is a poem from my heart, a heart which will always be learning about what it is like to get to know new people, to overcome fear, to take risks, and to try to walk in another’s shoes. Through conversation we find that most people are searching for the same things: safety, the joys of watching our children grow, time to notice the beauty around us, and love.
Tomorrow’s Maundy Thursday reading from John 13:34-35 reminds me what Jesus has commanded: “ Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” Perhaps a walk with a neighbor is a place to start.