The other day, my dog did something she has never done before—she ran out the front door and onto the lawn. I was shocked and shouted, “Get back in the house.” Instead, she ran halfway down the drive and then headed toward the back yard.
She reminded me of a child at the shore of a lake or the ocean, testing the waters with tentative steps, and then seeing a wave rolling in, running back to the safety of the shore.
Seeking safety and a solid foundation is something most of us know instinctively. We tend to crave security.
But Jesus calls us to put out into the deep… (Luke 5:4), which is the opposite of seeking safety.
Taking risks and trusting that Jesus will be there to catch me when I fall can be a challenge—whether the risk is large or small.
During this Easter season, I have been pondering how my life compares to the early Christians. Am I on fire with the excitement of the resurrection? Am I bringing things to life (as Peter brought people back to life)? Am I spreading healing, hope and forgiveness? Am I witnessing to the restorative power of love?
I am trying to be open to how God is calling me to spread Easter joy.
One recurring thought is about unity and the way I relate to Christians of other denominations. Am I curious about how others practice their faith? Am I respectful of the ways that other Christians live out their faith and mindful that we are all seeking the same God?
I have been trying to be more conscious of my reactions to how others express their faith.
Then, while driving to a nearby park for a walk last week, I heard a piece on the radio about the beginning of Ramadan. The interviewer asked what the appropriate greeting is for someone observing Ramadan. What is the Muslim version of Merry Christmas? Among the list of greetings was Happy Ramadan.
Just minutes after I arrived at the park, I noticed a woman wearing a hijab, a head scarf worn by Muslim women.
Maybe God is calling me to be mindful not just of Christians seeking God, but also to a deeper awareness of people of other faiths.
As we walked laps around the park, I wondered if I could muster the courage to wish this woman a Happy Ramadan.
I had said hello, but acknowledging her faith seemed to be crossing a line. I was afraid—would I say the wrong thing? Could acknowledging her faith somehow be offensive?
I watched her walk out of the park.
But then, feeling like Phillip running to the Ethiopian in the carriage (Acts 8:29-30), I ran up to the woman and asked if it was ok to wish her Happy Ramadan. She smiled broadly. “Yes, yes,” she said. “Thank you so much!”
She seemed happy, and I was grateful that I was able to step out of my comfort zone.