A Stranger is a Friend You Haven’t Met

by MW Cook

     I’m so sad that our culture demonizes strangers. We don’t talk to people on the bus, except to apologize for accidentally touching someone (because that’s a real big no-no I guess). We constantly encourage our children to be suspicious of every stranger, drilling the fear of them into their minds. And we’d never, ever, walk up to someone we didn’t know and start up a conversation.

     Thank God not everyone is like that.

     Some of my favorite people are folks I met because we and they were confident and loving enough to walk over and say “Hey there, what’s your name?”

     I love the word namaste. Literally, it means ‘bowing to you.’ But I’ve heard it said that the deeper meaning of the greeting is ‘The divine in me salutes the divine in you.’

     Everyone is divine. Everyone has a hunk of God in them. A shining, delicious hunk of God. A life full of hopes and stories and power. And we let the vast majority of these walking gods go their way without so much as a nod. For shame!

     We met some strangers in the park the other day. Within half an hour of saying hello we got an invitation to dinner. I’d never seen them before in my life. But we didn’t care and they didn’t care. We didn’t leave their house until the sun had set. We saw the divine in each other, and there was an instant spark of love. It was like an echo from Eden. A glimmer of the life humans were meant to live. A life where we stopped being suspicious of each other and, instead, put our hands together, bowed with a smile, and said ”Namaste.”