We are only a few weeks into the school year, but I’ve seen something interesting unfold in Daniela. Nearly from day one she has expressed frustration with the Bible curriculum at her school because it criticizes other religions. Daniela understands that by going to a Christian school she is going to be taught a Christian view of the Bible, but what vexes her is that their time has been spent “debunking” other religions instead of focusing on what Christianity believes. There was one exercise in particular in which the students were asked to name the things wrong with Islamic teachings and it went so far as to state that Muslims are going to hell. This is exceptionally heart wrenching for Daniela because her stepdad is Muslim. However, I’m observing that the more her Bible instructor seems to speak ill of Islam, the more Daniela is drawn to it’s defense. And the more Daniela is drawn to it’s defense, the more curious she becomes about it’s beliefs.
I love it.
While I consider myself a Christian because I follow the teachings of Jesus, I do not discredit Islam or any other religion. In fact, I’m fascinated by other beliefs. Friday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews which celebrates atonement and repentance. Had Rosie not had her surgery that day, we would have been in a Jewish synagogue celebrating Ne’ilah, the closing prayer service of Yom Kippur. To me, new worship experiences are kind of like seeing a sunrise when you’re used to a sunset. Both experiences celebrate the sun, but each has a different perspective.
I greatly dislike the religious segregation that I feel Christianity as a whole encourages. I know that it’s much easier to believe what you’re told and not ask questions. I’ve done that. But exploring your doubts, though much rockier, is a path worth climbing.
Daniela brought up her own beliefs over dinner tonight and while her heart pulls her in one direction, she feels fear over her school teachings being right. She is searching for a truth that I don’t think exists. This religion versus that religion. Grace versus hell. Jesus versus Mohammad. For some, Jesus and the Bible are the absolute answer. For others, that peace is found in Buddha and meditation. We each have our own truth. I don’t know how it all fits together in the end and I won’t pretend to. Faith isn’t faith without doubt. But I do know that her questions are lighting a fire inside me. More accurately, the flame inside her soul is sparking mine. Questions are good; they lead to knowledge. Daniela is a seeker of Truth and I’m honored and humbled to be a part of her journey.