Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“We All Have Red Blood in Our Veins”

I joke with my bible study group that God kept sending me back to the Middle East until I ‘got’ what he was trying to tell me. The dilemma now is how do I share this? When my Christian friends see Islam as the great enemy, how do I tell them that some of the best Christians I know are Muslims?

Sunday, at Christ Church in Pensacola, Father C. Neal Goldsborough gave a sermon on loving one another, a “who is my neighbor?” sermon. He is only the second priest I have ever met who mentioned Osama bin Laden, that we have to forgive him and to love him. The first time, it was in a military church, and the gasp was audible. What a courageous priest! Imagine, going among the warriors and telling us we have to love our enemy! Imagine!

Living in the Middle East, living in Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, I was greatly blessed. My friends were of all nationalities, and I learned one great lesson – we all have red blood in our veins, and we all share more similarities than we do differences. I try to texplain to my friends here by telling small stories of my experiences. I blog a little about them. We are all God’s children, and we create needless barriers when we draw lines that say the equivalent of ‘our way is the right way and you way is not.’

This is from today’s Forward Day by Day meditation for today:
Today’s Meditation

Tuesday, february 22

Ruth 1:15-22. Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

During political upheaval and mounting racial tensions, we were having a Bible study at home. A Fijian woman came in great distress. She was from a rural area that grew sugar cane. She had grown up alongside people of another ethnic group. They were her friends. She could not understand why people were being victimized because they were of another ethnic group. She was so disturbed she had to be taken aside. She kept clutching her arm. “We have red blood in our veins. We all have red blood in our veins!” she repeated, weeping.

In the scripture we have the moving words of the widow Ruth to the widow Naomi, whose son Ruth had married. Ruth and Naomi had in common that they were bereaved, but Ruth was a Moabite, whereas Naomi was from Bethlehem. Naomi shows kindness to Ruth, and Ruth proves loyal to Naomi—a loyalty that goes beyond narrow family blood ties.

We are all God’s children. Today I give thanks for strong bonds of friendship. I give thanks for loyal friends who are not of my ethnic group.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Blogging, Character, Charity, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Spiritual, Values | 2 Comments