Tuesday, in a quiet apartment complex on the outskirts of Chapel Hill, three people were shot and killed.
Three young people.
Deah Shaddy Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha were newlyweds. Razan Abu-Salha was Yusor’s sister. Deah was in dental school and Yusor planned to start in the fall. Razan was studying architecture and environmental design at NC State, but hoped to go with Deah and Yusor on a humanitarian trip to Syria over the summer to provide dental care for refugees.
Deah, Yusor, and Razan were Muslims. I’m a Christian. Today, I grieve for them. I grieve for their parents as I think what it would be like to bury two daughters and a son-in-law. I grieve for their friends who loved them and loved to serve with them. I grieve for their faith community who grapple with pain and wonder about hate.
I grieve … and I’m shamed. I haven’t done a good job of loving my Muslim neighbors. I don’t really even know how.
I smile and make eye contact at the store. I exchange pleasantries in the line at Target. But I don’t know enough to be a good friend. I don’t know what would be offensive, and what would be welcomed.
What would it be like if we began to learn how to love our Muslim neighbors? Really love? What would it be like if we stepped outside of fear and difference, and just shared life? What would it be like?
I don’t know how to love my Muslim neighbors. But, I want to learn. How about you?
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:9-10