I have received several thoughtful comments about Part One. I will post them in the comments section to the website without attribution. Keep them coming. What’s apparent is that we are bothered by the lack of harmony today.
One of our hidden fears is guilt by association. Christ faced similar criticism when he was seen in the company of beggars and sinners. Why would someone who was good consort with people who were bad? Guilt by association has fractured many communities over time, including the Christian community as well as other religious communities. To prove we are right and pure, we practice separation. We settle for the safe bunker of conformity, rather than accepting the reality of conflict and facing it head on, we make it even more real by institutionalizing it.
Can’t we as individuals and within our own religious communities do better? To do what God asks us to do, not what the world expects? There will always be times of turmoil, dissension, and even persecution. It is tempting during such times to retreat where we feel safe. However it is precisely during these times we are called to show our community the love God shows us.
Today explore how you can reach out with love to someone who by reason of their race, sex, religion, or past behavior is outside your safe zone. Don’t let that person become a casualty to guilt by association.