Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This is a lovely dinner fed to us by the Turkish American Women’s Association (TAWA) in Dallas. Shortly after 9/11, the Muslims (particularly those from Turkey) in Dallas approached many of the Protestant and Catholic churches and the Jewish synagogues and extended the hand of friendship. They invited us to community dinners, and to dinners in their homes. We were invited to an Iftar (the breaking of the fast during Ramadan) at Alp and Mubarrah’s home. We hosted them at a Christmas Eve dinner after church at our house. We maintained a friendship with them for over 10 years until we left Dallas to move to Tacoma. I miss them and all the rest of the Muslims they introduced us to. I regularly attend an Interfaith Dialogue here in Tacoma with a cross-section of Protestant Churches and one of the Jewish synagogues, but unfortunately we have not been able to connect with the Muslims in the area. Because of the hospitality of our “enemies” after 9/11, I no longer consider them “the other” but as friends.