I noticed something interesting at my coffee place.
What Was It?
The coffee house has two seating areas separated by a large, double-sided brick fireplace. At a table on one side were four people who happened to be Jewish. At a table on the other side were four people who happened to be Muslim.
- One table spoke Hebrew and the other Arabic.
- Some wore Yamaka’s and some wore headscarves.
- Both groups were laughing and having a good time.
- Neither seemed aware of the others.
- Would they have cared?
I couldn’t stop thinking how both groups, existing historically in mutual hatred, were separated by fire. Fire can be a symbol for God. But can also be a symbol for judgment, wrath, and destruction. As well as for light, warmth, and fellowship. I wondered which symbol for fire would they have chosen for the other?
I don’t live in mutual hatred with anyone, as far as I know. But over the years there have been people who didn’t like me, or disliked me a lot. We certainly had barriers separating us. What symbol for fire would we have chosen for one another?
Would it be the fire of hatred and vengeance; the fires of wrath and judgement? Or could the flames become fires of warmth and mutual fellowship?
Is the whole world locked in a cycle of hatred and violence? Is it cool to hate? Humanity fights over many things. Differences are settled through war, terrorism, trade and monetary sanctions, and the capacity to dominate. Actually, the differences never really get settled.
The fires keep burning.
I can’t control how others think, feel, or act. I can only control me and I sometimes I lack self-control. My fires can burn too.
Paul spoke of a wall dividing Jews and Gentiles, but that Jesus came to destroy the wall, for he was the Prince of Peace.
Christianity won’t end world conflict, hatred, and violence.
It can only end those things in me. And in you?