Charleston: Different Faiths
“Each person defines faith for themselves. Even if we sit in the pews with a thousand others, we all still process what we believe individually. Part of that definition is received, imparted to us by culture and community. Part is internally developed over time and through experience. Faith, therefore, is a process. Being conscious of what faith means to us is being aware of how life works for us. As Socrates is supposed to have said: the unexamined life is not worth living.” Bishop Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook Meditation
Those who come to talk about spiritual direction are usually consciously or unconsciously looking for the examined life, trying to go deeper in their relationship with God. Steven Charleston’s message is a reminder as we talk to spiritual friends to honor and respect their faith that may be different from ours.
In fact, this is how our faith as well as their own grows as we learn about the relationship of others in different faith groups from our own. With so much division in our country at this time, so many ask about what we can do to bring about healing. My experience is that we are called to “bloom where we are planted.”
I hear a call to reach out to and become friends with our neighbors of other faiths. Our schools and the workplace are perfect opportunities. They most often have become where our melting pot is centered. Let others know we want to know more about what they believe. We are called to attend diversity seminars and meetings and services between other Christian groups such as Church Women United, World Day of Prayer, and other faith groups that include Muslims and Jews and Hindus and more.
Sharing a meal together is always a good start and probably the most important part of our attempt to connect to each other. If we pause long enough to eat, we usually are forced to pause ever so briefly to listen to our neighbor.