I love it when someone captures an idea with a sentence...
Yesterday in yoga teacher training, I came back to my mat at the break and overheard a conversation between Joan-the-Dancer and Jenny-the-Rescue-Yogi. Joan said,
"Have you ever been talking with someone of a different religion and realized you were both in love with the same Person?"
When Joan said that, my mind was instantly flooded with moments across my lifetime where I'd had exactly that experience—though I'm not sure I'd ever phrased it in quite that way.
I remembered specific, individual moments with Maria, the Mormon; Debbie who is Jewish; Syeda, the Shiite; Manju, the Brahman; Karen, the Catholic; Simin of the Baha'i; Barbara and Prerna of Sahaja; Aruna, the Jain; Nana of Quan Yin and Gary who follows the Course on Miracles where there was a conversation and their expression of love and faith created a moment where I knew we were having the exact same experience. Our beliefs? Radically different. And yet, that experience of intense love and faith is recognizable in each other.
For years I had no way to reconcile these experiences. My religious background had too strict of parameters about who was out and who was in.
As I've held this in my heart, I've come to believe there is an often overlooked macro-story in the Gospels that we as Christians often miss. Jesus was not what the religious leaders expected. He didn't come in the form they predicted. He didn't act in the ways they prescribed. And more importantly, He didn't hang out with the people they thought He should.
If Jesus is the picture of God's character here on earth, then it is hard to miss that He was critical of the ones who valued "traditions of men" over hearts. He broke the boundaries of the religious lines that were drawn for His day. And at His death, the veil was ripped. God with us.
I think God is still ripping veils. Still defying our traditions that separate. And most of all that His Spirit is active and working on this earth in ways we miss.