He Was Reading His Qur’an, in the Mall

This Labor Day, we found are way to Lexington’s only mall.  I was happy that I went in with open eyes to our global community.

I saw countless women in Burkas (Head Scarves for Muslim women), dozens of sub-continental Indians, ethnic Chinese, Middle Easterners, European Americans, Africans, and Latino(a)s, and a few Asbury students [holl’a].  Today, the diversity really stood out to me.

It all really hit me in the Central Baptist play area for kids.  On the bench to the left of me a man spoke in a Middle Eastern language on his cell.  Most of the kids had beautiful brown faces.  One little vibrant girl ran up to us and smiled without inhibition.  Her shirt read, “Proud to be a Canadian”.  She revealed shortly thereafter that her father was next to us on the other side.  “My Daddy”, she jubilantly announced.   There he sat, gently studying his Qur’an.  The interethnic couple across the way made sure their kids were playing well while my daughter and the Mexican boy were competing for a spot on top of the giant rubber ducky.

As we were walking back to our car I saw another scarfed Muslim woman breezing past the victoria secret shop. “Now there’s a contrast”, I thought. I wondered about our next twenty years in this country.  What does history have in store for us? What will look like?  Well, I knew that day that for us European Americans, our time is up.  We will live in the age when we lose majority status.  And that is not altogether a bad thing.  We will gain a lot as the beautiful diversity of God’s creation flowers among us.

We might expect a beautiful diverse american future, but if you ask me, things are likely going to get worse before better. All Americans may share love for one brand name or another, but beneath the surface our values churn.   And, just ask our brothers and sisters in Rwanda, Bosnia, Sri Lanka about the potential of subterranean churning.  They will tell you what a diverse human community is capable of.

What will make our history different?  How can we prepare our hearts now for the diverse future ahead of us?  Are we destined for bright futures only through bloody crisis?  Is our love strong enough and pride low enough to survive the onslaught of political force?  Can we find a higher way?  These are the questions that fall asleep thinking of.  What do you think?