I feel really stupid! REALLY stupid! There, I said it. I feel a bit better!
I wish I could sit with each of you one-on-one over a good cup of coffee and offer my sincere apology for people of the "Christian persuasion" who have acted and re-acted to event so poorly in recent days and weeks.
Rather than wasting your time recounting what they said or did (because I am quite sure you know ALL about it), I would like to share with you how I hope we can build friendships and be community in the face of rising fear in our culture.
Most important, I so value your perspective and input regarding these situations. I have a certain vantage point as I try to follow Jesus. And you have a vantage point from your context and I want to understand it and will seek to respect it. We may not agree in some areas, but that must not stop us from seeking to understand one another and to respect one another.
I also hope we can bring the very best from our belief systems and worldviews to the real-life situations of terrorism and street violence in our world. If you know me at all you know that Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew 5-7) has blown my heart and mind in the very best way possible. I desire to align myself with the ethic he lays out in these words. I believe that every one of us brings ideas and practices to the table that should be considered as we move forward together.
Last, I hope we will all resist painting each other's belief systems with a broad brush. All Muslims do not believe the same thing, all Jews do not believe the same thing. And I dare say that all Christians do not hold the same beliefs or practices. I am asking that we extend grace to one another and not typecast based on "a few bad apples."
Thank you for your friendship. I so appreciate you for who you are and how you enrich my life. Peace be upon you.