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More Love, Please

Dear Friends,I am seated at a local restaurant known for their fresh funky pizza and gourmet salads. Across the table from me is a robust South American woman with a space between her teeth, afro cut close to her head and a wickedly joyous laugh which produces an inner smile when I hear it. Glenda is my new friend, although she calls me a sister. It took many years for us to meet.

Seven years ago my L.A. friend, Nina, brought me to a meeting at her local chapter of Women for World Peace (WfWP). Founded by the Unification Church, this group of women attracts members across faiths and countries bonding women as sisters creating a network of peace. I actively tried joining the Phoenix chapter and emails went unanswered, phone calls not returned. I let it go.

Until now.

Glenda became the new president of the local chapter. She dug through past files to find my name, call me, and take me out for lunch.  With a pizza between us and conversation which was forced to stop due to time, we hugged good bye in the parking lot, convinced we’d found kin.

Driving home my eyes began to water then tear. The Unification Church’s members are more commonly referred to as “Moonies,” named after their founder Rev. Moon. When I was young, the Moonies were seen as dangerous and I learned I was to avoid them at all cost. Typically selling carnations at the airport, stories abounded of the cult and the brainwashing within it.  Now I’m driving home, wet faced and realizing I had placed a wall of judgement between me and this group of religious “others” different than me. After eating with one of these once forbidden individuals I became aware of the pain this separation cost me. With this judgement, I had tethered my heart closed and now another frozen aspect of my inner perception was melting. I said YES to Love and my world became bigger. In the  midst of the moment I gave thanks to a benevolent God and said YES to more love, please.

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