A Sanitizer Prayer

Posted on March 30, 2020 by Myra Crane

The only reason I haven’t joined in the frantic hunt for hand sanitizer this virus season is because I already have more than I’ll use. I’m a grandma AND the wife of an endearing germaphobe. I carry the stuff in my purse, along with a travel-sized package of germ-annihilating hand wipes. I make sure I’m able to sanitize well, no matter whose sneeze I’ve just neutralized …or when my concerned hubby might ask if my hands are clean. 

 

Before our current pandemic it had never crossed my mind that the alcohol content of sanitizer must be 60-95 percent to meet the necessary criteria for clean. It was a fact that didn’t seem to matter much before now.

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We All Need a Savior

Posted on March 24, 2020 by Myra Crane


Today my Muslim friend told me she is afraid. Her family is in our US city on an academic scholarship. All of a sudden they are cooped up in an apartment while their dreams of a great education begin to fizzle. She wonders if they should all go home. She’s afraid of getting sick.

 

These days all of us humans need saving from way too many things: growing potential COVID-19 contamination, job insecurities, financial loss and unknowns, isolation mandates, difficult work logistics, home schooling challenges, the unrelenting deluge of ominous news, emotional fatigue, and worry.

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The Shepherd's Love

Posted on March 11, 2020 by Myra Crane

Recently, I had a “moment” over coffee and croissants with a new Muslim friend. She is from Saudi Arabia, but for now she lives where I do. 

The freshly baked, chocolate-filled pastries were delicious. We chatted about more stuff we loved to eat, particularly a rice dish she had recently cooked, called kabsa. Then she wanted to know if I liked lamb, one of her favorite foods. In broken English she lamented its scarcity and how expensive it is in the few stores that carry it. She managed to explain how she and her husband drive to a farm about two hours out of town, where they can purchase good lamb from a farmer who kindly sells to them. Then I watched as my friend’s thoughts inevitably veered toward her Saudi homeland, where her parents and her younger siblings still live. She began to share about her dad. 

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Celebrating Christ with Muslims: Christmas Reflections

Posted on December 23, 2019 by Myra Crane

There is not a person in our family who would not be able to recount our first Christmas in the Muslim country where we served. It was a very conservative nation, and we knew before we ever went there that the context would not lend itself to traditional celebrating. We determined early on to do all we could to make it wonderful for the family and meaningful to our Muslim neighbors.

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The Power of the Cookie

Posted on December 16, 2019 by Aria Morgan

I found myself at her house late in the afternoon. My new Muslim friend *Muna had invited me over to learn how to make a traditional dessert from her home country. After settling down in her living room with cups of tea and light conversation, we moved into the kitchen where Muna walked me through the recipe step by step.

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Easter's Lamb

Posted on April 19, 2019 by Myra Crane

Easter is a time for reflecting. Gratefully we remember Christ’s cross, His very temporary grave, and the truth of His glorious resurrection. 

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Guarded Steps

Posted on April 12, 2019 by Myra Crane

I’m in a South Asian neighborhood in the Bronx, New York, looking out the window of a great city church into the face of a very large mosque, which sits just across the street. At this time of day, it’s mostly elderly-looking men in loosely fitting ethnic attire who enter its gates. A few veiled Muslim women, one or two with kids in strollers, have walked past but not gone in. 

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My Prayer on International Women's Day

Posted on March 8, 2019 by Ruth Walker

“I can’t pray today”—these words still ring in my ears. Our families were walking together in the park as the evening Islamic prayer call sounded. Prakash looked longingly at the nearby mosque when suddenly a large bird appeared and relieved itself on his hand. In a moment of horror, Prakash held up his hand and cried out, “Now, I can’t pray. I can’t pray today! I am not clean. I am not clean enough to pray.” As a devout Muslim, the bird feces had rendered his prayers ineffective. Our excursion in the park was cut short that day; Prakash needed to find a way to make himself clean again. 

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Thinking about Muslim Friends on This Ash Wednesday

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Myra Crane

I never thought much of Ash Wednesday before, since in my denomination the Lenten ritual of having the sign of the cross caressed into one’s forehead with symbolic ash isn’t really practiced. I’ve never thought it was heresy or anything; in fact, aside from casual conversations I may have had with friends who wore their ash crosses home from church on Ash Wednesday, I never really thought of it much at all.

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World Hijab or Not Day

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Myra Crane

I’ve been thinking about this since it happened-this past February 1. It’s taken me a while to process, because I have lovely Muslim friends I have every reason to respect. But what February 1 was two weeks ago is larger than it was a year ago, and it will be smaller than what next year makes it. Because of this, I’m ready to share my thoughts.

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