Lee Hull Moses

 I am Lee Hull Moses, and I am the minister of Faith and Family at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, in Fall Church, Virginia. I heard a story on the radio a few days ago that I have thinking about the whole time we have been here, and I just wanna tell it quickly. There is this woman who was born with a vision problem and she couldn’t see depth. She had a monocular vision instead of a binocular vision which most of us has have. They did not think that, it was a neurological problem, so they didn’t think that they could fix it. Once she was an adult they just discovered something new and gave her some exercises to do with her eyes, and she did them, and gradually her vision was changing, and she came to be able to see things in depth. Before she was only able to see things sort of 2-D, now she could see it 3-D. She described the moment when she , she walked outside, and it was snowing and the first time it had snowed since her vision had changed, and she said, always before she had watched the snow falling in front of her in sort of a flat area in front of her, but now the snow was falling around her, and she was in the snow, as a part of the snow fall.  I have thought about that so many times since I have been here because that is what this whole trip felt like to me, sort of being a part of the snow fall. When we landed in Istanbul I kept saying that I am in Turkey, I am in Turkey, and umm, and walking in Ephesus down those beautiful marble roads, and thinking Paul walked here, and that people have walked those roads for centuries; and then to be in the stone Churches and to be in the retreat houses where those first Christians were, that just it came alive to me, and helped me remember; reminded me the richness of the tradition that I am a part of. That is something that I will take back, that I have to share with our congregation; just the richness of the tradition that we come from. In the same way I have been so honored to, as others have said, to visit the mosques, and honored to watch people in their prayers and acting out their faith, and the sort of appreciating the richness of the Islamic tradition as well. What I have appreciated mostly is the intentionality with which people practice their faith here, which they intentionally go to the mosque to pray, or they take time out from whatever they are doing to say their daily prayers, and to hear the call to prayer every morning was just an amazing experience. The other thing that I hadn’t anticipated but which I enjoyed very much was conversations with people as we also had conversations with this group, but also conversations with people that I would have never expected even meeting, Ali’s children for example, talking to Rana about her life in the United States and her life in Turkey. Last night at this dinner I sat next to this woman, we had very very brief conversation, but I can tell we both were enjoying the conversation, as were saying goodbye and we exchanged email addresses, she said something like, sometimes you talk to someone and just an electricity between you and I really felt that with her. What I appreciate most about this conversation was that people were willing to talk to me in English, because I have no Turkish, and so many folks here have English, and it is sort of I think the grace that they have showed me willing to talk to me in my language when I wasn’t able to talk to them in theirs. So I appreciated those snippets of experiences very much.

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