Yesterday I finally heard some good news for a change. It was in the follow up story about the Muslim temple destroyed by fire last Saturday in Victoria, TX. When it made the national news in the same week as Trump’s now infamous travel ban, there was a public outpouring for this community that had lost their place of worship. From all over the country, money started pouring in. to their Go Fund Me page. To date, they have over one million dollars donated. One comment from a donor said:
“I am so sorry for your loss. This is not the America I know and love. God speed healing to your community. Inshallah.”
Another said, “You know what ‘makes America great?’ The people over there…”
The local Muslims in Victoria have been overwhelmed by the response, the generosity and the support of their fellow Americans. They posted: “Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the tremendous support we’ve received. The outpouring of love, kind words, hugs, helping hands and the financial contributions are examples of the true American Spirit and Humanity at its best with donations coming in from all over the world. We’re so very much thankful and appreciative of everyone’s thoughtfulness and generosity.”
This gives me so much hope. But wait, there’s more. Thanks to their Jewish neighbors, the town’s Muslim population will not be without a place to worship while their building is reconstructed. The local Jewish community handed over the keys to their synagogue until their own temple is rebuilt, saying, “Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together.”
This restores my faith in humanity and the qualities that are noblest in each of us. Kindness, compassion, inclusiveness, generosity, gratitude, gentleness and humility are all alive and well, just when we might be tempted to think they were casualties of the current administration.
We need more stories like this.
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8