A Thanksgiving Message of Peace
November 22, 2007 § 8 Comments
Today I received a letter from a reader name Richard Bowser. Richard Effendi came to know of this blog through Street Prophets and has been in contact with me for several weeks. We have had a number of healthy conversations on religion, spirituality and life in general. This morning I received a letter from Richard Effendi addressing the readers of this blog. I would like to present it to you for your reading pleasure, as it is a warm message of thanksgiving that expresses well wishes and good cheer during this special time of year:
This is my message to your readers:
God’s peace be upon you. I am a Christian, writing on Thanksgiving morning. I give great thanks to Allah for many things, and I desire to speak to you from my heart. Today is the third Thursday in November, a day Christians traditionally reserve for a special celebration of their thanks to God. I have very much to be thankful for: Christians are supposed to always give thanks to God in prayer for all things, including His chastisements (of which I have been frequently been blessed – though never so severely as to harm me.)
Did you notice I said I give thanks to Allah for everything. That is because I do, although I am a Christian. So what’s wrong with me? (Wow, man – this’s one seriously bent dude.) It’s like this: I seriously believe there is but one God, and that He is great and awesome beyond my limited ability to comprehend. I believe that He knows I try to love Him, and that I know there is no God but God. I believe He is so great that our petty human labels don’t matter to Him. Therefore I believe He doesn’t particularly care if I call Him just plain God, or Yaweh, or Allah, or even Irving (if there was anybody demented enough to try that.) I believe He’s just too big to “sweat the small stuff” and what matters is that I keep His love in my heart as the center of my life.
I realize many of my “Christian” comrades-in-arms would want to burn me at the stake for such heresy. But hey: What can you expect from an ignorant Christian anyway? Today I have something very important to thank God for: I have long been a member of an online community of faith known as Street Prophets (and shouldn’t we all be little prophets?) and through that group I was given the awesome privilege of discovering this whole community, a community obviously driven by love of Allah. Thanks to God I have discovered this community of my Muslim brothers and sisters, who also love Allah, as I do. (See how easily I use that term – for I believe it is the same reality we worship and I will treat the terms as equivalent.) As I just said, What can you expect from this ignorant Christian anyway?
This year I have discovered a group who call to my mind the words form Christian scripture: “Other sheep have I that are not of this flock.” I think it is high time we start focusing on what is the same in our hearts instead of focusing on our differences. So for my personal prayer of Thanksgiving to God, I say “thank you for guiding me to this sacred group”. Again: as-salaamu ‘alaikum
Please feel free to return the sentiments if you feel moved to do so, have a happy Thanksgiving and as-salaamu ‘alaikum.