Church was over and a parishioner was standing near the coffee looking a bit harried. The morning had not gone quite as planned.
“My husband had to work this morning,” she explained. He is a head custodian at a school. Members of a Muslim community use the school each week for their religious classes.
“Usually, one of the folks who works for him is there – somebody has to be there …” I presume someone needs to unlock the doors, be on the premises, and then do some cleaning when the group leaves.
“But the two people who usually do this are Hindu,” she continued; “and they are not available this weekend because of some holiday or holy day or something …”
“It’s Diwali!” I exclaimed. My daughter-in-law’s family is from India. I know a little about this annual Festival of Lights that leads to their new year.
“That’s it,” she nodded. “Anyway, there wasn’t anyone else available, so my husband is missing church to be at the school …” She paused, and then, after a moment, she looked at me.
“My goodness,” she said with a smile. “A Christian is missing church so that Hindus can celebrate their holy day and Muslims can have their religious education!”
Mind you, this is Vermont we are talking about. Diversity happens; and mutual respect – even reverence for each other’s spiritual traditions can happen. Maybe some day it will all lead to “love one another.”
A blessed Tuesday.