Be Reconciled


There is something about a reconciliation story that strikes a strong chord within me. There is nothing more beautiful when people who have become so estranged, are able to reconstruct their relationship and build upon their fault to find a peaceful common ground. The Spanish portion of our travels were almost unenjoyable for me because it was plagued with so much sorrow and destruction in both a historical and cultural way. Learning about the Golden Age of Islam only furthers the fractioned feeling that overshadowed our Spanish visit. To know that there was a time when the harmonious collaboration between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism that cultivated immense learning made the Spanish Inquisition heart-wrenchingly hard to wrap my head around.

It was shocking to see within the wonderful Cathedral of Granada, a famous statue of the Saint James killing a Muslim. The root of Christian theology is the reconciliation story of Christ. God created his people to embrace one another to become a model to those who are broken. Though it is difficult to love your neighbor as the Bible commands, tolerance and forgiveness is the reason why we are here on earth.

The boundaries that we attempt to cross while we are apart of the offending foreign culture makes the journey difficult. But as we witnessed in the house of the Imam, many people in Muslim culture are more than willing to meet us half way. I felt honored when, like servants, the Mosque leaders provided food and drink for us and later bowing to help us put on our shoes.   Of all the things I expected to hear from the Imam, I did not expect to hear him proclaim such words of reconciliation. “We have no quarrel with the Jews or Christians” he would say, opposing all the negative stereotypes of Islam. He continued to go on about how humbled he was by our visit and how happy he was to be serving us. The attempt that he made to not only go out of his way to cross the religious and cultural gap but his affirming words made me feel as if I was witnessing reconciliation first-hand.

Reconciliation is defined as the making of one view or belief compatible with another. My life-changing experiences in Morocco have not only altered my views on Islam, but they have caused my to question how far I am willing to cross religious tolerance boundaries. I cannot claim to know everything about the true nature of God and his children but, I know that there is more to learn. Living with the ambiguity of these questions is something that we all have to deal with. With that in mind, I do believe that all religions have simple foundations in common; love God and one another. Be reconciled.


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