Saturday, October 07, 2017
Today I am grateful for the Community Day at the North Penn Mosque. If you have a mosque in your area, I would highly recommend you visit it. The people will welcome you with open arms, I guarantee it.
Before we moved to Jakarta, Indonesia and lived in very close proximity to a mosque and many, many people of Muslim faith, I confess I was a bit leery of them. Their methods were strange to me and a little scary. Then I got to wondering if they might not feel the same way if they went to a Latin mass in a Roman Catholic Church, or if the hymns of my childhood Lutheran church would confuse them. Probably. We often fear different. . .until we understand it.
I was hoping I would bump into former students from the school I used to work at, but I didn’t see any of them or their parents. Or if they were there I didn’t recognize them, nor them me. It’s okay. I did bump into a fifth grader who is still at that school who has the new 6th grade teacher but knew the others I mentioned very well. Let’s see if she tells them about us meeting like I asked her to.
My friend and I were welcomed into the female side of the mosque, a very simple room boasting a beautiful new carpet since the last time I visited. Two young women were deep in conversation, taking a breath long enough for me to ask if I might take a picture of the poster on the wall. “Of course,” she said. “Please do. That is why we have this event. . .so people will understand what we are about.”
I confess that when leaving, my heart skipped a beat for Jakarta, Indonesia and the wonderful Muslim people I knew there. Many are now dead, but they will live on in my heart forever.
I have no idea how I remembered the Muslim greeting I blurted out all morning. My dear sister/friend Tati must have been whispering those foreign words into my soul.
“As-Salaam-Alaikum.” (Peace be unto you.)