Finding opportunities to open our hearts, homes, and communities to our neighbors

Two weeks ago, I spoke at a lunch following the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual Washington tradition that brings together people of all faiths, nationalities, and backgrounds in a spirit of togetherness and a celebration of humanity. Jordan’s King Abdullah II also spoke that day, offering a powerful call for the world to come together to address the global refugee crisis.

Jordan welcomes and hosts more refugees right now than any other nation on earth. That welcoming spirit is deeply rooted in faith and in the attitudes and views of the Jordanian people, but it is a spirit that transcends any particular religion. As King Abdullah told the thousands in attendance that day, “those common ideals… are the foundations of every religion, whether we bow in a mosque, kneel in a church, pray in a temple, or simply engage in the selfless act of kindness. We are all joined in faith.”

At the National Prayer Breakfast lunch, I shared a story about Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, the church I grew up in in Delaware, which has worked closely for months with a number of other Delaware organizations to prepare to welcome a Syrian refugee family.

I was grateful to learn that family finally arrived in the United States on Friday, and I’m proud to welcome them to Delaware.

Our nation remains deeply divided, but it is my hope that all of us will continue to find opportunities to open our hearts, our homes, and our communities to our neighbors, to those who we see as God’s children from around the world. I hope we can all be willing to take risks for tolerance, inclusion, and faith.

I hope we can find an opportunity to pray with those who have different priorities and values than us, and together, to open our hearts to what prayer can do to heal our world.