In these dark days of divisiveness, you’ve got to find hope where you can.
Last week, hope surprised me in a grey Honda Accord.
Lyft driver Rayan* picked me up at my San Diego Hotel. I’d spent a few days with my wife who was attending a conference for work. I told Rayan that I was on my way to rent a car and head up north of LA to see my daughter.
He replied that he hadn’t seen his family in quite some time. They still lived in Jordan. He’d left there 15 years ago for a better life in America. He hoped to get back at the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
We commiserated about how hard it is to be far away from people you love. He told me a little about his move to America and how much he liked it here.
Rayan asked me what I did for a living.
I told him I was a pastor.
He told me he was Muslim.
The conversation did not desist or deteriorate.
We talked about how much our faiths have in common. We recalled our joint Abrahamic roots and prophets we share.
He reminded me how important Jesus is to Islam. I told him about our church’s forum last year when we invited some of our Muslim neighbors to speak and share about their faith.
We discussed some of the misunderstandings members of our faiths have about each other, and how awesome it would be if Christians and Muslims got to know each other rather than making assumptions about each other.
Rather than listening to voices whose power and authority come from stirring up distrust and disdain.
As we approached the car rental facility that was my destination, Rayan said, “There would be peace if only Muslims acted out the faith we claim to follow.”
“And if Christians would act like followers of Christ,” I added.
We said our goodbyes.
Outside the car, I sat on a bench and opened the Lyft app.
Rayan got five stars.
* I’ve changed Rayan’s name and some of the details since I didn’t ask him if he wanted to be featured in a blog post.