Today, the Prince of Peace surprised me at the front door, dressed as three lovely teachers from the school next door who brought a gift and big card made by their preschoolers.
I live in a “little Jerusalem” in the Crossroads area of Bellevue. On one block are a Jewish synagogue, Muslim school, Mormon church, and Presbyterian church. It’s an opportunity for understanding and friendship. Fear and hatred live here, too.
Many months ago, hearing horrific world news and my neighbor’s comments about “the little terrorists” at the Muslim school nearby, I resolved to be friendly. I walked over to the school, introduced myself, and told teachers how happy I was the school was here. They looked at me quizzically, quickly apologizing for how noisy the children were. I told them, “No, no, I was a teacher, and love the happy sounds of children playing.” Their faces lit up. The preschool teacher invited me to please read a story to her children sometime, which surprised and delighted me.
At the end of the school year, I left a note for the teachers, wishing them a restful summer. I signed the note, “From your neighbor in the corner house.” I didn’t hear anything back, so I wondered if they’d gotten the note, or if I’d overstepped. (more…)