The call to prayer was loud. It was clear where the voice was coming from. I could just see the tip of one of the mosque’s minarets. Without a watch or i-Phone, it was hard to know what time it was precisely. Even as my mind drifted to the imaginary scene, a voice interrupted my thoughts.
“It is our call to prayers.”
“Yes, I recognize the sound.”
I realized that my body language was saying something differently than what I was thinking. It was an odd catch. The call to prayer was a familiar sound. It brought a sense of reflection and calm to a busy day. As I had relaxed, my body expressed indifference. I was not thinking that way, yet the silent words were loud and direct.
I had a flash of an imaginary accusation unfolding. We had moved from the office to the Mosque. As open and aware as I was trying to be, nothing was going right. Everything I did was offensive. Even though the subject was a Mosque and not a temple, the theme was the same.
“We caught him trying to defile our holy Temple and arrested him.” (Acts 24.7)
As I engaged in the present, I realized there were things I could do to express my views accurately.
Individuals deserve our respect. Our value comes from God’s expression of love to each. It is not conditional on our religious views or our behavior.
Respect deepens with knowledge. Being aware is a good thing.
Being intentional improves the chance that what we are communicating accurately. While it will not protect us against the inadvertent moments, it will reduce them.
I came back to the present and responded to the conversation. We talked about the calls and the timing. The conversation moved into the conflict we experienced between the demand of the immediate and the need for reflection. I found myself discovering an individual I had not anticipated.
As we finished the transaction, I realized I was in the presence of someone responding to God. I left richer for the experience.