I continue to be appalled and deeply saddened by our human capacity for “othering” and demonstrating violent behavior. I am also in awe of expressions of openness, inclusivity, and delight. How do we continue to find and welcome each other, in our beautiful diversity, in this very different time of our lives?
Not only did the horrific mass shooting happen in Orlando two weeks ago, but there are thousands upon thousands of gun related deaths and acts of violence around our country. At the same time, there are thousands upon thousands of ordinary and extraordinary incidences of inclusivity and welcome. I experienced one last week, with co-workers of the nonprofit organization where I work and members of a Muslim community in our service area. About 200 of us came together for prayer and the meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan. The witnessing of welcome, hospitality, and conversations about God’s/Allah’s presence during prayer and community remain with me in all of its magnificence and beauty.
How do you welcome others in this very different time of our lives? How do you confront “othering?” How do you practice inclusivity, live in community with others, and celebrate God’s expressions of our beautiful diversity?
Tanya Williams, OPSt. Louis Park, MN