With a prayerful heart, we thank God that our spiritual siblings are safe. We also pray that as Christians, we will use this opportunity to confront any harmful theologies that may have unwittingly encouraged acts of violent extremism.
For while we have averted the violence against the body this time, we’ve barely addressed the violence this incident has had against the human spirit, the kind that lingers on throughout communities. For fear and distrust, much like manure, which one can wash away, leaves a stubborn stench that lingers on, for generations.
Indeed, one cannot help but recall the everyday experiences of thoughtless jokes, microaggressions, discrimination ‒ or worse, our silences, which serve only to reinforce feelings of the wariness and misunderstandings between faith communities.
How can we turn this ‘manure’ into a fertiliser of spiritual growth within and beyond our faith community? We believe that Jesus can teach us how.
Jesus once said, a tree is known by its fruit. So what kind of fruit will we bear in this time of fear and distrust between faith communities? Let us reach out to our Muslim friends in our respective circles, where appropriate. Let our friends know it is ok to not be ok. Hold space for each friend to put into words the fear and anger such issues evoke. Build new bridges of love.
Let’s instead do what God has challenged us to do: To bear fruit to the great commandment, to love our God with everything we’ve got ‒ and, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Pauline and Miak