Reflections from Abroad
Fr. Rick Stansberry
As I write this reflection I am in Jerusalem on a pilgrimage with a group of Oklahomans including fellow Rotarian Robert Klabzuba and his wife Ruth. It is also the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. While that day will forever be in many of our memories, I personally celebrated 3 Funerals as a result, none of would have predicted then exactly how violent our world would become. Certainly the part of the world that I’m visiting now is among the most volatile in the world.
What is interesting how in this ancient city which is holy to Christians , Jewish and Moslem people the people of different religions and cultures co exist. I would not even dare to wade into the waters of how Israel functions but as a pilgrim in this place and seeing huge groups of pilgrims of Christian, Jewish and Muslim people all visiting and praying this same historic and sacred city shows that in reality we all have much more in common than we can sometimes admit.
Diversity is both a scary and necessary reality of the modern world. It’s scary because most all of us are most comfortable with people who think and act like us, that is not the reality of life now. What we need now both in our country and the world and churches for that matter are true leaders who can stand up for what they believe but at the same time acknowledging that there are a diversity of people and views.
Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt by all faiths many times in history but it remains a modern thriving city. It’s spirit and will cannot be destroyed. Will our cities and states exist as long as this place and thrive? It’s up to us!
Fr Rick Stansberry