"Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?" poses author Brian McLaren. "To get to 'the other.'"
And that is what was accomplished—in body, mind and spirit—when people of different faiths gathered recently in quest of education and mutual appreciation.
Reciprocal invitations to each other's spiritual home resulted in 40-plus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula members and friends visiting the Mosque and Islamic Center of Hampton Roads on July 23.Islamic Center Trustee Dr. Ahmed Noor delivered a comprehensive presentation on Islam, coupled by a tour of the worship area. In welcoming and open fashion, this previous UUFP Sunday Morning Forum guest speaker encouraged and deftly addressed questions from the keenly interested group.
When we are willing to open our minds and extend ourselves to people of spiritual (and life) paths unlike our own, we "cross the road" into critical conversations able to foster good will, wisdom and a willingness to work together for the common good.
In taking that first step of many, we discover that "other" has strength and purpose when it becomes "we" in the mission of building the beloved community. Motivated by renewed understanding, mutual respect and collaboration, baby steps develop into giant steps forward as we grow in wonder, connect in love, engage in service, and inspire generosity.
Let us not be "chicken to cross that road"…as there is Goodness waiting for us on the other side!