The Perfect Game
By Eboo Patel and Samantha Kirby
Thursday, Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game against Tampa Bay. Needless to say, folks around Chicago were pretty excited - President Obama (now dubbed First Fan) called to give his congratulations, and even Cubs fans were cheering him on. The triumph is the headline of all the local papers.
But the most interesting part of these stories are the sidebars, like Dewayne Wise's home-run catch at the top of the 9th. It reminds us that a game can only be pitched perfectly if everyone on the team does their part. (This is something Buehrle already knows - two years ago when he threw his first no-hitter he bought watches for his team.)
In Cairo, Obama called for us to build bridges of understanding between faiths through service. At the end of June, he called for Americans to make community service a national priority this summer through the United We Serve campaign.
And now, it's up to us to see it through. At the Chicago offices of Interfaith Youth Core, we have a group of interns who are doing just this. Every Tuesday, they come together and serve at a soup kitchen over lunch. This team of young people - Jews, Christians, Muslims and agnostics - are making service a part of their daily lives, and writing about it to share their experience. One young man, Chris, wrote in his blog about service, "This work was about more than just heaping reheated food on a plate (though that was certainly a significant portion). It was about human interaction, about accountability and community assessment, and it was about sharing and acting upon values of generosity, compassion, and interconnectedness."
Another, Timur, connected it to his experience serving in New Orleans last year, "I believe that when you serve with another, a bond is formed. I often had volunteer groups made up people from different backgrounds. We had Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hare Krishnas, you name it!...But when the hammering and sawing started, everyone joined together for the common good. What was once an untrained but willing group of volunteers had become a family linked by service."
United We Serve projects are happening all over the country. In Atlanta last week, about eighty young people - Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian - joined to sort books donated to literacy programs in Africa. They ended the day with a discussion of how their different faiths inspired them to come that day to serve together. The event went so long over the proposed time that some of the young Muslims ended up praying the sundown prayers in the chapel of the host organization, the Youth Theological Initiative.
These are just a few examples of how Americans are living out the goals of interfaith bridge-building through service that Obama has laid out.
Now, more than ever, we need everyone in the game.
Posted by: ccnl1 | July 27, 2009 12:58 PM
Report Offensive Comment
Posted by: ccnl1 | July 25, 2009 3:10 PM
Report Offensive Comment
The comments to this entry are closed.