On my couch are lovely, artisan pillows from Armenia, Greece and, now, Turkey, souvenirs from countries with centuries of hatred towards one another. In Istanbul last week, walking a few paces behind my sixteen-month old (step) grand-daughter, seeing the soft, “ahhh” eyes of Turkish men melting at the sight of this adorable, determined toddler, I remembered the many horror stories told by Greeks and Armenians of “those horrible Turks.”
How do we relate to one another from that gentle, loving, “ahhh” place, I wondered in worship on Sunday. Good question, huh?
On my way to Meeting on Sunday, I had walked past St. Anthony’s just as the congregation was singing a hymn I’d fallen in love with in Cuba. Hand on my heart, I stood on the sidewalk and listened. I don’t remember the words to that hymn either in Spanish or English (I vaguely recall something about Jesus and boats). Because, somehow, the hymn’s words don’t matter. It’s the melody which directly and profoundly speaks to my gentle, loving, “ahhh” core.
When we put language to that-greater-than-ourselves, that’s when it gets dicey. Love, Light, Peace, God, Christ, Allah, “There is a Spirit that delights to do no evil;” whatever word(s) represent our gentle, loving, “ahh” core, may we speak from that place to one another.