I grew up in a small community just outside Pittsburgh, PA.
Pittsburgh is the only place I have ever been where I did not have to spell Presbyterian for the person across from me who was trying to write it down. Of course, there were more than Presbyterians who lived in the town in which I grew up, but I didn’t really know any of them except for our next door neighbor who was Roman Catholic, but she was also divorced and a single mother which was not a good combination if you were Catholic.
The Roman Catholic church was a couple of blocks from our home.
I would walk by it on my way to my friend’s house.
What I remember is that it was surrounded by hedges that were taller than I was.
While that may not be completely accurate, it is the memory I have.
The other memory is that when I was walking by I would peek through the hedges to get a glimpse of the church, but I never stepped beyond the boundary created by the hedge let alone walk closer to look inside the church.
I am remembering this today because on Sunday several members of the Upper Westchester Muslim Society will lead worship with me. In the face of the destructive rhetoric and the narrow slant of the news which surrounds us, we will attempt to peek through the hedge to see the face of our neighbors. The neighbors God instructed us to love if we are ever to know and love God.