Two weeks later. Our second Tea and greeting happened as people came out of Friday prayers at ICSA/Dar Al Hijrah*. It was much warmer, near 60 degrees, which is almost unheard of in Minneapolis in February.
As we waited for people to come out of Friday prayers I watched a video (13 minutes) simply panning the folks mingling and drinking tea and coffee. It brought tears to my eyes, tears for which I do not have words yet.
This time there were 3 or 4 times as many people to serve tea. It was amazing. People from St. Peder’s, Nokomis Heights and Mt. Olivet were there. I heard one man ask if it was happening again. We all seem to be looking for a way to speak out against the current narrative of fear and hate, a narrative that is based largely on not knowing. We seem to be looking for a connection and a way to say that God is big enough for all of us.
People lingered longer and talked more. Conversations went on. Pictures were taken. Everyone was again so grateful – grateful for the warmer weather, grateful for good Somali tea, grateful for new friends, grateful for an opportunity to show our Muslim brothers and sisters that someone cares, that there are Christians who want to make a difference. Some who had come to Cedar-Riverside were already asking when the next one would be.
It turns out that our first Coffee and Tea made it on the news in Somalia and was then seen by Somalis around the world. Apparently other mosques are asking for something similar. What will become of that?
The fear is still great among our Muslim brothers and sisters. The need for community coming together is greater.
Protests and marches have their place. Many different voices are needed at times like this, when one’s neighbors are not feeling welcome and safe. But, it remains true, sometimes one simple act of kindness can make a big difference.
*ICSA – Islamic Civic Society of America. Dar Al-Hijrah (Home of the Immigrants) is the mosque/masjid under the non-profit umbrella of ICSA.
Original journal entry date: 2/20/17
© 2019 Jane Buckley-Farlee. All rights reserved.