Tuesday, February 21, 2006

...of God's spies...




Rowan Williams quoting Brian McLaren in a speech he gave at a Christian-Muslim Forum... That's a pretty potent combination...


"It’s easy to talk about these things abstractly so I’ll end by quoting to you a story I came across recently from a most unlikely quarter. The book I’m reading from is an excellent book by Brian McLaren, an American Evangelical, pastor of a large independent church in the Washington DC area. The sort of Christian pastor who arouses a certain amount of anxiety in the breasts both of Muslims and of more liberal Christians, not to say columnists in some of our newspapers. The book is entitled, though, ‘A Generous Orthodoxy’ and it has a long and extraordinarily moving chapter on his approach to people of other faiths. Towards the end of this chapter McLaren quotes from another writer from the same background telling a little story about an encounter in the Washington DC area not long after September 11th. One day my daughter saw a woman walking towards us covered in a veil and asked the inevitable ‘What’s that, Mummy?’ ‘Emma,’ I answered, ‘that lady is a Muslim from a faraway place and she dresses like that and covers her head with a veil because she loves God. That is how their people show they love God’. My daughter considered these words, she stared at the woman who passed us, she pointed at the woman and then pointed at my hair and further quizzed ‘Mummy, do you love God?’ ‘Yes’, I said, ‘I do; you and I are Christians and Christian ladies show their love for God by going to church, eating the bread and drinking the wine, serving the poor and giving to those in need. We don’t wear veils but we do love God’.


After this Emma took every opportunity to point to Muslim women during our shopping trips and telling me ‘Mummy, she loves God’. One day we were getting out of our car in our driveway at the same time as our Pakistani neighbours. Emma saw the mother beautifully veiled and pointed at her and shouted ‘Look Mummy – she loves God’. My neighbour was surprised, I told her what I had told her what I had taught Emma about Muslim ladies loving God, while she held back tears this near stranger hugged me saying, ‘I wish all Americans would teach their children so, the world would be better’.


That perhaps is – as simply as that – what we have to teach; that, perhaps, is what the Muslim Christian Forum by the Grace of God can achieve, thank you for being with us this evening."


the memory that stays with me most, from my brief meetings with these two sages of the faith, was the depth of their spirituality and ( i struggle for a better word...) godliness... yes, being in their presence, is to be in the thrall of 'godliness'...

here's the rest of Dr. Williams' speech.

9 Comments:

At 10:17 AM, Blogger SK said...

Extremely heartwarming.

-sk-
(www.ShermanKuek.net)

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Sivin Kit said...

wow this is dynamite ... I wonder whether Brian knows he's been quoted by the Archbishop of Canterbury!

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger joegribbel79735556 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Darius said...

That's really beautiful, and so 100% opposite of a thing I heard on NPR today. Someone was interviewing The Dixie Chicks about their statement against the war 3 years ago. Apparently one thing that stuck in their minds from that time was a woman telling an interviewer how she "hated" them. Then she held up her two year old, coaxing the child to say "I hate you" into the camera...

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Mei said...

lovely. what grace!

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know which church in Washington DC does McLaren preaches at? I'm in the Washington DC area.

Candy

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger irene said...

hey there... how you doing> haven't heard from you for a while.. i am alright.. a bit lost .. and searching for a dream.. dont know what i will do with my life

 
At 2:08 AM, Anonymous enilit said...

Rowan Williams, at a Christian-Muslim forum:

"It’s easy to talk about these things abstractly so I’ll end by quoting to you a story I came across recently from a most unlikely quarter. The book I’m reading from is an excellent book by Brian McLaren, an American Evangelical, pastor of a large independent church in the Washington DC area[...]

 
At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi aporia,

I am eagerly awaiting the resurrection of your blog. Hope I will not be disappointed!

 

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