Tears are our meeting place

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I'm often asked where Muslims and Christians can come together. How do we find common ground?

I also find myself asking, where does peacemaking start? How do I initiate the process of making peace?

The word compassion literally means, "to suffer with". It was the crux of every act Jesus did, and it's the first description God uses for himself in Exodus 34. There also seems to be a whole lot in the New Testament about mourning, especially mourning with those who mourn. These aren't just nice, but powerless, sayings. They are key components in the good news Jesus brought.

This is not a whole answer, but I'm finding more and more that tears are a meeting place God offers to us. They remove walls of suspicion and hostility. They leave no room in our hearts for apathy. They are never cheap, and like Christ, all true compassion (suffering with) leads to a genuine act of love. I offer this as a great first step when you feel you don't know where to start.

If you're wondering how to engage with people who are different from you (especially your enemies), then maybe a good, humble place to start would be to ask God to give you compassion (suffer with), and enter into the pain of the "other".

I recently saw Syrian refugees deeply impacted by others crying with them while they shared their tragic stories. It was a first step towards what became lasting genuine friendship. For those refugees, this act of 'mourning with' overcame centuries of division.

So my questions for you and myself are “Who do I need to make peace with? Can I have compassion for them? Do I mourn with those who mourn?”

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