“ ‘There are no strangers in this state, and that’s its genius’, he said in a quiet, engaging drawl. ‘People smile. You assume people have a common interest.’ ” In March 1980, National Geographic Magazine published an article called Home to North Carolina. This was North Carolina University president’s response when asked about the state’s “rare sense of community”.
No strangers. Common interest acknowledged. What if that was the life-giving air of Sacramento breathed by refugees who settle here?
Is This You?
Which of these do you think was a neighbor to the woman in distress?
Some of you may read this and recognize similarities to Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. Followers of Jesus are told to love God and love their neighbor.
“Who is my neighbor?” was the question asked of Jesus that prompted his parable.
As he often did, Jesus answered a question with a question, turning the tables on his question asker to say, in effect, “Don’t try to justify yourself by who or who not is your neighbor. Rather, you go and be a neighbor to the stranger—the one who you doesn’t see eye to eye with you politically or religiously.” Today, Jesus calls us anew to be that same person, to be that neighbor.
Who Are “They”?
“Christians and Muslims may be living next to each other, but that does not mean they deeply know each other.”
Practically speaking, the gaps are not as wide as you may think. Relationship is not overly difficult to begin and then continue. The seemingly large walls are far weaker and easier to tear down than you anticipate. That is why Raft Amad exists- to pragmatically and relationally escort you toward a simple way of DEEPLY loving the stranger and TRULY knowing your neighbor.