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  • January 2008
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Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

I’m working on a post re. President Bush’s recent trip to Palestine. I’ve been doing some research on presidential visits to the Middle East that has slowed me down, but will ultimately give some interesting historical perspective for the piece.

TAMposterSmallIn the meantime, I would like to offer you a link to a This American Life episode (#322). This American Life is hosted by Ira Glass on NPR and is one of the podcasts I regularly listen to. The link (below) will open in another window where you can listen to this recent podcast. I think you may need a Quick Time player add-in for your browser and may be asked to download it for free if you don’t already have it.

This episode is entitled “Shouting Across the Divide” and gives three stories about Muslims and non-Muslims communicating with each other and not always doing it very well. It begins with a vignette about a statue of the prophet Muhammad in a very unexpected place – the US Supreme Court. It then continues with a moving story about a Muslim family in middle America and how the aftermath of September 11 effected their family, esp. their daughter in 4th grade. Very insightful. The podcast ends with a story of a guy working for an ad firm hired to improve the United States’ image in the Muslim world. A little amusing, a little sad, very interesting.

The podcast is around an hour long, but well worth the investment. For me, the story re. the Muslim family was a unique opportunity to put myself more in their shoes and try to see things from their perspective. This is an important step for those of us who are not just wishing for peace but actively working for it. Remember Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, which implies taking some sort of action in order to make peace.

Like clicking the link and listening to the podcast. Yeah, it’s about an hour long. Don’t worry – I know you can multi-task and listen to it while you are doing something else.


If you use some sort of feed subscriber (like Google Reader) you can pick up a regular subscription to This American Life here.


3 Responses

  1. oh yeah… that podcast can be found at http://ignitepodcasts.libsyn.com

  2. Dude, I heard this a long time ago (twice I think now, cuz they replayed it recently) but yeah, what a GREAT podcast.

    I’m so in awe of the soldier who joined the Muslim campus group! I mean, to go from that one end, and then to the other, and without compromising his own beliefs… just to try to see them as people and to not judge with preconceived biases… just awesome…

    My mom (not tryin to get her in trouble… problem having a very active-in-the-church family…lol) is always sending me this stuff, and being like “well, I am just afraid of the day we’ll all have to wear head scarves…” and stuff like that…

    Sure, there are militant muslims… just as there are some whacked out militant christians… And jews… and people who believe their toasters are speaking to them, or whatever…

    Point is that the majority are living out what they believe to be true. (Which of course is sadly misguided, but that’s not the point…) The point is that Jesus would have been the first to befriend these people, even the militant ones, I believe (due to how many towns he and people he motivated like Paul, got nearly (or in Paul’s case, entirely) beaten out of…)

    Anyway… yeah… long comment to say, it saddens me how many really well intentioned people who truly love Christ aren’t getting his idea of reaching people through service and love, and trying to meet people where they are…

    Rock on with your bad self, man. ๐Ÿ™‚ You got it going on!

    Also, I don’t know if you listen to sermon podcasts, but if you do check out ours for Ignite, would ya? And spread the word to anyone with parents with kids going into or already in high school, would ya? It’s really good, I think. I produce it, but Glenn is obviously the one with the mouth being used by God… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I don’t know if I will listen to the podcast but I just want to say that I like how you tell stories. The details and word choices are good.

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