Thursday, February 5, 2009

Being Understood

The beauty and wonder of life is getting to know others and understanding various background and beliefs. Recently, on another blog a blogger writes about her Muslim faith after marrying a Pakistani (my beautiful niece is half Pakistani) and converting from Christianity. I made several theological and historical points, along with some points relating to feminism and faith which is the crux of her posts.

I have obviously offended her and she has written publicly that I sought to Lord my faith over hers. If anyone knows me, they know that this simply could not be true. Yes, my faith is strong, but I do not Lord mine over yours nor denigrate the belief of others. Oh, dear God, this is so not me. After her last comment, I have tried to apologize for offending her, but have not been given the chance to do so publicly as her comments are moderated.

What is for certain is that anytime religion is written of we should always be prepared to receive different opinions. I include faith in all that I do and I freely accept other points of view. (I do not moderate my comments.) She has dismissed my comments publicly as judgmental and essentially said that I was seeking to denigrate her faith. Ugh!

What a pity indeed. One of my dearest friends is of no faith. He is an atheist. We have known each other for 20 years; another is Muslim and we have been friends for 15 years. I am always sorry when my words have hurt others, especially with regards to faith, not to mention that I would hate for others to think that I would be so insensitive. My letter of apology has not been published there.

My heart is somewhat saddened. She appears to be angry, perhaps even hurt with the struggle of conversion. By this I mean, the constant scrutiny of others because of her conversion. When you comment on blogs, you really do not know that person nor their experiences. I shall be more careful indeed, perhaps only commenting when others have at least identified themselves.

My intentions were never to offend. The reality is that various faiths are represented in my family (my maternal great grandfather is Jewish) and as I have said I have many very close personal friends who are of other faiths or no faith. I am fully aware that I will not always be understood or treated fairly, but when the heart speaks one thing and you are perceived in another way, it is a bit disconcerting.

My greatest desire is to love and be long suffering, many times I am successful; others times I am not. But I arise with same intention daily, of being better than I have been the day before. Tomorrow, I shall arise in a different place. I forge forever forward. But tonight I shall deal with the fact that my words have offended perhaps a tender one who appears to be lovely indeed.

May God continue to bless her and hers. She seems to be on a greater path of self-discovery.

Is there a greater path?


Brosreview said...

I reckon you shouldn't feel bad as you have apologised for a comment that was misunderstood at the first place. Sounding one's opinion assertively does not necessarily qualify for an imposing behaviour.

Give her some time. She shall realise soon and might even get back to you. As of now, you're better off not saying or writing anything furthermore cause she is quite cross with you.

Time heals everything. GOD bless!!!

judith ellis said...

Brosreview - I am as tender as I am strong and I thank you for your words. I have not written to her since my apology and will do just as you have suggested here. I had no intention of doing so anyway. I have an incredible ability to move forward, especially when I have done all that I could do.

As I said in the post, I am particularly sensitive when it comes to faith, as it is often so divisive and causes such pain. BUT this does not hinder me from writing of it or seeking greater knowledge of the God of us all. May the God of all love continue to also be with you. I feel better. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

don't feel bad. I as a Muslim am often misconstrued when I make religious comments. Usually I just draw parallels, which I have seen you to do as well. We often compare things to our own lives and faith to be able to put things in our own constructs so we can understand them better.

I also don't think you should refrain from commenting, there is always someone out there who could get offended. If were to hold our tongues for fear of offending any single person out there, the world would be full of silence.

I do understand why you felt so strongly about it though :)

judith ellis said...

Meena - Thank you very much for that. I agree with you about drawing parallel experiences. But there is also something to be said for stepping outside of our experiences which I often do to seek to understand others.

Religion can be such a divisive subject. I seek to transcend it though freely expressing myself in it and honoring those outside of it. I also understand that many spiritual principles of my faith are often found in those of others.

I respect your Muslim faith, Meena. Please feel free to express yourself with regards to it here. I appreciate your words. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - as far as I have been able to see, you are open minded and you offer references. I hope you don't stop drawing parallels in my stuff where you see them. I mean, I read the bible stories and know some of the Judaic, Budist, and some other scriptures too. I think religion should be learned from.

judith ellis said...

Meena - Thank you for your encouragement. I shall take it to heart and continue to speak freely, drawing parallels too. Thanks again for simply suggesting that I continue to be me. This is what I hope for you too and desire that you also look at my work and speak to it as you please.