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There was a time I would reject those

Ibn ‘Arabi wrote “My religion is love. Whichever the route love’s caravan shall take, That shall be the path of my faith.” He speaks of a journey and shared path.

I recalled the statement attributed to the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

When we reject others because of ethnicity, religion, skin colour, politics, gender, etc, we lose sight of what makes us human, our common humanity. This humanity is deeper than any of the markers we have that identify and group us.

Shunryu Suzuki compared mindfulness to a compassionate space that expands and contracts depending on the needs of the moment and the people we share that space. When we reach out to others, we acknowledge we are pilgrims on a shared journey where we speak for and on behalf of each other.

There was a time I would reject those
who were not my faith.
But now, my heart has grown capable
of taking on all forms.
It is a pasture for gazelles,
An abbey for monks.
A table for the Torah.
Kaaba for the pilgrim.
My religion is love.
Whichever the route love’s caravan shall take,
That shall be the path of my faith.

I took this picture in Jasper National Park. Kathy and I walked for several hours on this path just enjoying being there.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

23 responses »

  1. May your days be full of blessings, Ivon.

    Reply
  2. I certainly agree with the post. The NT even calls it the Law of Love, since the sacrifice made by Jesus rests as the core of the Christian belief.

    Reply
  3. Looks like a beautiful place, I am glad that you and your lady got the opportunity to experience it.

    Reply
  4. Sir, I forgot to let you know that I am going to reblog this article for you.

    Reply
  5. What a great idea for your religion to be love. We so need to accept everyone regardless of the name given to their belief in God.

    Reply
  6. Geraint Isitt

    Plenty of places in Jasper to sit and just get lost. And here’s to tolerance

    Reply
  7. All rivers flow to the ocean where they become one with the ocean and leave their names behind. Have a blessed day!

    Reply
  8. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    BANG ON THE NAIL! LOVE IS NOT PROUD, ETC. BUT REMEMBERS THAT OTHERS ARE PEOPLE TOO (MY PARAPHRASE) 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4

    Reply
  9. Pingback: “CO-EXISTING” | Teacher as Transformer

  10. Love this. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Interesting post. We are all flowers in a garden, the garden of humanity. There are many different flowers, but they are all flowers. We are all human beings.

    Reply

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