I followed the President’s recent overseas trip with interest. Whatever people think of the man (and I haven’t yet found a person who doesn’t have a strong opinion), I find it fascinating that he chose to reach out to faith leaders of all three Abrahamic religions.
At a time of such intense divisiveness, it is more important than ever to turn to and lean on people of goodwill who dedicate their lives to uplifting others through faith and spirituality. In my experience, you get what you put your attention on. And we as a society have been spending an inordinate amount of our collective attention making other people wrong for their viewpoints, their beliefs, their values.
I have been fortunate to experience religious services in a wide variety of houses of worship, and what they all shared was a sense of compassion—an outstretched hand rather than a raised fist. I always felt warmly welcomed and acknowledged, even as a stranger sometimes clearly out of my normal element.
I am comforted by my knowledge of history and the concept of the pendulum swinging back and forth, but never going completely over the edge in any one direction. My sincere hope is that we collectively will soon reach a tipping point where all the shouting and attacking, all the clenched fists and gnashing of teeth, will give way to a sincere interest in actual dialogue, the kind that people of goodwill naturally gravitate to and foster in others.
I hope President Trump helped to encourage that kind of thoughtful dialogue on his particularly important trip. The great faiths of the world have so very much more in common than they have differences.
I hope President Trump helped to encourage that kind of thoughtful dialogue on his particularly important trip. The great faiths of the world have so very much more in common than they have differences. I hope we can put more of our collective attention on the things that bind us together and give us common purpose. And like billions of others on this planet, I look to my church first and foremost for that sense of purpose, that sense of belonging, and that route to the spiritual and the divine.
Photos by: White House