I am writing this from a hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois, where my wife and I are attending a Hindu/Christian wedding. The wedding is on Saturday, but the events started Thursday with the henna painting of the bride (who is Christian). That was followed by a catered dinner and entertainment and dancing. This morning my wife is helping decorate, followed by a lunch together, and then a dinner this evening. Tomorrow the Hindu wedding will be held first (the groom, while not a practicing Hindu, has parents, etc. who are). That will be followed by the Christian wedding, a lunch afterward and reception Saturday evening. We are here because my wife’s very good friend and her daughter, the one being married, invited us to come.
The reason that I am writing about this is that I felt last night that I was a part of the family—both Christian and Hindu—as I sat in my electric wheel chair and a number of the Hindu family came to introduce themselves and made my wife and I feel like we were a part of their family. The Indian women were wearing their saris and the men casual dress, but obvious Indian. Americans wore their usual assortment of casual clothes. Music from both cultures was played and sang and the feeling was one, as I said, of being family as these very different cultures and families were joined by love for the bride and groom.
As I muse about that experience it came to me that this is the way God intended for those made in his image to relate. That all of humankind he created should be family! And I think how wonderful it would be if we could achieve that same relationship on a national basis and treat each other as family, regardless of our religious, our cultural, our language, and our national differences. How much less killing, wars, strife, hatred there would be if that were to be so! We can maintain our own cultures, our own languages; but the common language we have is our own humanity and human condition, and our creation as one of God’s children. That is what can bind us together. The same thing that binds the bride and groom together—love is at the center of this happening, whether it be families or nations, because we have a common humanity and we need each other. In this case I’m writing about love of an Indian man and an American woman that brought the two cultures together. But love works on a larger scale, also! Because love says being different is o.k. Read Chapter 13 of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church (I. Cor.) and the description of the characteristics of love—it is kind, it is gentle, it is patient, it cares for the welfare of the other, etc. etc. Jesus called us to “love your neighbor as yourself!” If we did this, it might be amazing what could happen!!