A few days ago, I was part of an interfaith prayer walk for drug addiction awareness. The experience was quite nice, however, at the beginning of the walk, something unexpected happened.
Someone noticed our group and was not happy to see us. As they pulled their car up to the intersection where we were standing, they rolled down their window and told us to stick the cross where the sun doesn’t shine. They repeated this several times.
There have only been a few times where I have seen someone so passionately angry. From the sound of their voice the anger was coming from a place of pain.
Though I don’t want to go into too many details about them, from my point of view, they seemed to be both a part of a racial minority and the LGBTQIA community.
Upon hearing the insults, one of the prayer walk participants decided to respond to this person by saying “We love you!”
This did not quell their rage. In fact, they became even more furious.
I’m not sure exactly why they were angry but I would guess that they may have been hurt by a Christian community. It may be that whatever trauma or frustration they have inside, suddenly arose at the sight of what looked like a Church group.
Considering that so much suffering has been brought about by conservative Christians in America, particularly toward minority and LGBTQIA communities, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some people express anger toward religious groups.
So to say “We love you!” is to be dismissive. It would be better to reflect on why they were expressing themselves in such a way.
I’m not defending the person’s actions but I can see that whatever anger they have is likely justified. It’s important to listen to the pain that lies behind that anger.
The Buddha and Jesus met people where they were and listened to their suffering. It would be wise for us to do the same.
Namo Amida Bu
Image from Pixabay