Another September 11th…

Well, one can not escape the need to post something on this day of all dates. For many people, today is both a day of remembrance and sadness. For others, it is a day fear and threat. And yet still, for many others, it is a day that reminds them of an era of isolationism that would beset them because of their religious beliefs, practices, and customs; or maybe, just because of their country of origin.
Where ever you may find yourself today, and in whatever way you may have moved through your day with thoughts of where you where when it all happened, the world we live in has changed, and continues to change in ways that are both redemptive, hopeful, and good.
A few of the initiatives I’d love to highlight today as a testimony to the way that maybe in light of September 11, 2001 the world is better at understanding and listening to those that are different than us are as follows:
1. The Faith Club– From the website: After September 11th, Ranya Idliby, an American Muslim of Palestinian descent, faced constant questions about Islam, God, and death from her children, the only Muslims in their classrooms. Inspired by a story about Muhammad, Ranya reached out to two mothers to try to understand and answer those questions for her children. After just a few meetings, however, it became clear that the women themselves needed an honest and open environment where they could admit—and discuss—their concerns, stereotypes, and misunderstandings about one another. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, Ranya, Suzanne, and Priscilla grew close enough to discover and explore what united them.
Destined to spawn interfaith discussion groups in living rooms, churches, temples, mosques, and other settings, The Faith Club is a memoir of spiritual reflections in three voices that will make readers feel as if they are eavesdropping on the authors’ private conversations, provocative discussions, and often controversial opinions and conclusions. The authors wrestle with the issues of anti-Semitism, prejudice against Muslims, and preconceptions of Christians at a time when fundamentalists dominate the public face of Christianity. They write beautifully and affectingly of their families, their losses and grief, their fears and hopes for themselves and their loved ones. And as the authors reveal their deepest beliefs, readers watch the blossoming of a profound interfaith friendship and the birth of a new way of relating to others.
2. Increased interreligious dialogue that is redemptive for all!
I am not sure what your experience has been over the last seven years, but I hope you are able to tell stories of ways that it has been better. Sure, it doesn’t all have to with terrorism and evil today, or any day, but today just serves as another opportunity to reflect on the way that maybe, just maybe, God is luring us in the midst of tragedy, crisis, or calm towards something else. While I often wonder why shit happens, I am reminded, without the shit, there is no way I can personally see or celebrate the opportunity for resurrection and hope. But to be honest, I’d much prefer that we could work for the justice, goodness, and beauty that God is luring us towards. And then again, as human, we where ever there is the capacity for great goodness, there is even greater capacity for great evil.
Could it really be so? Let us press on, and indeed be the change we wish to see in the world…for good!
peace..
jc