I made a new friend today. Her name is Yasmine, and she is Muslim. In the past, I had seen her at our local pool, and I once asked where she had found her daughter’s cute, modest swimsuit.
This morning, I noticed that this woman’s children were enrolled in the same swim class as my youngest son. The other mothers seemed to avoid her, so I asked if I could sit with her. After a little bit of conversation, she thanked me, with tears in her eyes, for being kind to her.
My first thought was, “Why wouldn’t I be?” But then I realized that she probably hasn’t had an easy transition here. Many people in our community didn’t understand her and were fearful of her differences.
However, in the 30 minutes that Yasmine and I spoke, I could tell that we had a lot in common. Our differences seemed minimal. We are both mothers who love our children and worry about their happiness and safety. We want the best for them. We both share the same frustration with the state of the world and the evil that exists.
A little bit of kindness and understanding can go a long way and doesn’t cost us anything. I can understand why people feel afraid to reach out to others they don’t know, but these words ring most true in my heart: “Jesus said love everyone; treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you.”1
1. “Jesus Said Love Everyone,” Children’s Songbook, 61.