Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Elephant In The Room

Sitting in the darkness of the narrow alleyways, Egyptian life flies by,
Motorbikes pass close enough to our feet to make our toes curl, at times bring a hault to the conversation,
The smell of fresh baking floats in the air, almost strong enough to cover the stench of the mounds of garbage rotting in the heat of this Cairo night,

My experiences and my friends have brought me back to this dingy little "cafe"
Now sitting, probing the depths of Islam and Christianity, mankind and our behaviors, with an elephant of a man.
The conversation is risky, but too important to pass up,

I've brought a friend this time,
He's eager to experience "real" Egypt,
He's getting it,
And now, the three of us work to break down the misrepresentations, the cultural boundaries, between us,
If only the UN was this effective

The topic of relationships comes fourth and the elephant (a term of endearment), proceeds to ask of if we would every marry an Egyptian woman,
"Well if we loved her," it's only a start to our explanation, but already he's floored,
Marry for love eh?

I love making waves...I'm getting good at it.

"What if she was a Muslim?"
We venture the topic of being unequally yoked, trying to stress the point to the rather large Egyptian man, that we do not see Muslims as weaker...

I love watching a light flicker in the eyes of someone wrestling with something great,

Conversation is interrupted now and then for a tea break, or to shake hands,
We take these opportunities to take it all in, the people, the place, and sometimes rather unfortunately, the smells

"There is something different about you two," the elephant says,
"Not many people would come here, and less people would come back, what is it about you two?"

Boom, I've never had such a cliche opening,
But we jump on it,

"But that's not what makes you different, I've met lots of Christians, they aren't friendly, they don't talk to us, "
Others nod in agreement,

The sad reality dawns on us,
The walls are high, and the walls are thick,

They are both higher and thicker than they should be because, we Christians have added the brick and mortar,
Everytime we step outside the doors, our actions, our mannerisms are watched,
Whether intentionally or not, we define Christianity to those who know only the inside of a mosque,

Suddenly, the old "living-Christ-like" saying takes on a very personal twist,
These are friends,

It’s time we live out of love.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

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