“Honor everyone.” (1 Peter 2:17)
I’m going to do something weird,” Malak whispered to Katie, her bunkmate on our interfaith immersion trip
to Chicago. Malak and Katie were both students at the college I served as chaplain. Neither knew each other
well before the trip. Each practiced a religion foreign to the other.
Malak slipped into her prayer robe, its royal blue flower print covering her head, her arms to her wrists, and
her body to her feet. She began her prayers facing Mecca, alternating positions of standing and prostrating
herself, forehead to the floor while silently praying in Arabic. When she finished, Katie intentionally took a
moment to say, “I don’t think it’s weird, Malak. I think it’s beautiful.”
Respect and honor go hand in hand. Both position us to care for and regard another’s feelings, rights, wishes,
beliefs and traditions. Such respect is beautiful because it recognizes our ability to cross boundaries of
difference and grow in mutual understanding.
According to scripture, we are not to pick and choose who is worthy of our regard. We are to respect and
honor everyone. It’s simple, straightforward and beautiful.
Examine: Recall a time when you felt disrespected. Breathe. Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.
Imagine: Imagine yourself interacting with people wholly different than yourself. They speak, believe, act and worship
differently. How can you be among these people respectfully? What thoughts, feelings and actions would honor
these people as you interact with them?
Pray: Free me for love, O God, so I can live with heart.