Years ago, when I went through a long period of wrestling with my faith, I listened to a song by Rev. Carey Landry over and over and over.
I sought my God; my God eluded me.
I sought my soul; my soul I could not see.
I sought my brother one day, and suddenly I found all three.*
It took a long time for me to recognize the importance of that last line because I wasn’t thinking in global terms and didn’t recognize that everyone is important regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak, or where they live. My world was too small.
And it was too small despite the fact that I lived in an integrated neighborhood and fought for the rights of all its residents. I believe it was too small because I hadn’t traveled outside the country except to border towns in Canada and Mexico. Consequently, I still saw the world through a limited American perspective.
Travel guru Rick Steves talked about his changing perceptions of the world in an excellent article he wrote called, “Innocents Abroad: How Travel Changed my Perspective and Politics.” He said that in 1969 he was “a pimply kid in an Oslo city park filled with parents doting over their adorable little children.” He saw how much those parents loved their children and it hit him that “this world was home to billions of equally precious children of God.” That changed his perspective on life.
My perspective changed when my husband, Dave, and I went to Israel and Palestine with a Faith and Money Network Trip of Perspective. We didn’t go there to work or to shop or to preach. We went to meet with local people, which we did through sessions with community groups; visits to churches, synagogues, mosques, grade schools and colleges; and time spent as guests in Christian, Jewish and Muslim homes. We walked the streets of Jerusalem and Hebron and the shores of the Sea of Galilee. We spent time in refugee camps, repeatedly went through check points along that infamous wall Israel built, and stared in stunned silence at exhibits in the Holocaust Museum. And everywhere we realized how much we had to learn, and every day we felt our limited perspective of the world expanding.
Rick Steves is right. The world is filled with billions of equally precious children of God. “I sought my God; my God eluded me. I sought my soul; my soul I could not see. I sought my brother,” beyond our borders, “and suddenly I found all three.”
In November, Faith and Money Network will lead a Trip of Perspective to Haiti. If you are seeking God or if you are searching for your soul, here is a chance to seek your brothers and sisters and to find all three.
See our home page for information on the November trip to Haiti.
*From I Sought My God by Carey Landry