I am a Protestant Christian, by birth, adult choice, and culinary inclination. But past that label, which is inescapable, I am one who searches after that great mystery we have had the audacity to name - and more frighteningly to me, continually attempt to put in a tidy box with our name on it. Foolishness, of course. The divine spirit can no more be tamed than the seed heads of dandelions, that blow where they will, seed where they will, and create where they will.
In my experience, conversations with other faiths and with their followers, are always rich. We are able to see the frailties of our own way, when we stand as guest in the spiritual home of another. When we are curious about another's contemplative practice, we are directed to be curious about our own, unearthing lost treasures in our own histories and bringing them to light. When we observe acts of compassion and devotion within a new religious framework, we are encouraged and enlivened to mirror the same posture with grace and humility. And, so my thinking goes, where contemplative practices and compassionate actions co exist, new creative thought will naturally emerge. We are in need of such creative conversations these days, especially in and around the often contentious discourse between faiths.
So, here is my exploration of the Five Pillars of Islam in light of my own Christian heritage. I hold much gratitude for these five devotions and for the enlightenment they have brought to my own faith praxis.
May grace abide as we continue to engage the spiritual gifts of others.