The Old Testament, central to both Judaic and Christian religious traditions, contains a verse that I heard a few times this weekend:
“You are to treat the resident alien the same way you treat the native born among you—love him like yourself, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt” (ISV, Leviticus 19:34).
I thought of this idea a lot this weekend because of the generosity and hospitality of Bob and Christy Walker, who hosted the Global Buddies at their farm house west of Iowa City. Its a beautiful home, and there were many of us there to share food and stories. The Walkers take this “welcome the stranger” idea to heart — they treat everyone they meet just as they do members of their own family. It’s a powerful idea and one that has the potential to bring healing and peace wherever it is applied. That’s not to say that it is easy or that it is a panacea, but I believe in the power of kindness to transform.
Thanks, Bob and Christy, for a great evening. If you haven’t met Bob, follow him on Twitter (@heyprofbob) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/bob-walker-ph-d/16/4a3/561).