The Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths were all represented.
The Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths were all represented.
Buddhists make up about 70% of the population of Sri Lanka. To understand the culture, you do need to understand the religion.
Buddhists make up about 70% of the population of Sri Lanka. To understand the culture, you do need to understand the religion.

* NOTE: This blog was written two weeks ago and only posted now.*

In this busy and chaotic world can seem godless. What’s worse is so much of the death and destruction in this world seems to be fueled by religion.  How anyone can insight hate in the name of god I will never understand. But religion can also be extremely beautiful and peaceful. It gives people a sense of security and comfort. Even if it cannot provide the answers to the big questions of life, it can at least have us asking deeper questions. Religion can bring people together just as easily as it can tear people apart.

Now I don’t know where I fit into this whole religious scheme of things, and I don’t know if I ever will. However, I do believe that there is a void in this increasingly secular world and people are filling it. They are filling it with alcohol, drugs, food, money, work; whatever can distract them from the uncertainties of life. There is an undeniable need for spirituality and community. I recently read about the first church for atheists. It seems even the non-believers need something.

My workplace has recently been shook up by a number of tragedies, the most recent of which was when a member of the maintenance staff was struck by lightning and killed. At his Hindu funeral, the pain of his family members was undeniable in their wails and prayers. So random – so unnerving. A reminder of how precious life is.

Today we gathered together in the auditorium. People of many races and faiths. Some believing that the building needed to be purged of bad spirits. Religious leaders from five different faiths led us through blessings and prayers. Regardless of what you believe, there was a comfort in the room – a presence. Call it love, call it peace, call it the presence of God, it doesn’t matter what you call it because you could feel It, and It was there.

Namaste.

Tasleem.

Namo Amida Buddha.

Amen.

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