Though we may come from different countries and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one. (J.K. Rowling)
Over the past month as my family was ending our ministry in Southern Louisiana and moving to begin our new position in Pennsylvania, this quote has been at the forefront of my mind.
Written by a Presbyterian muggle and spoken by the great headmaster of Hogwarts, this sentence comes during the aftermath of a great tragedy. At the end of a year when children from several countries have been sharing time with one another, it becomes clear that there are very difficult days ahead of them all. Though there may be many differences between them, the headmaster reminds them that they are still united when they choose to stand together.
As I was leaving Baton Rouge, I took time to see some of my dearest friends that I made there – several of whom come from faiths that look quite different than mine. The world around us constantly bombards us with messages that we should be enemies. And yet, by the grace of a God who is far bigger than any one faith or understanding, we are indeed friends. Though there are many differences between us, we are still united because we choose to stand together.
Entering into a new community in a land I have barely seen since my eighteenth birthday (that’s half my life), it is a new day and a new beginning for me and my family and the church of which we are now a part. However, in a time such as this, Dumbledore’s words are an essential reminder to every one of us that we must seek unity that is not uniformity, and community that is defined by real love – never hatred, injustice, self-righteous piety, or ignorance, even when they masquerade as the “one true faith.”
That is what I will be seeking here. With the church. And in the broader community which is so much more diverse and wonderful than any one small branch of people can be. Because at the end of the day, the thing that matters most is that no matter from whence we come, or what language we speak, our hearts really do beat as one.