Love Is My Religion

| February 26, 2019 |

Nah, this isn’t going to be a post about Ziggy Marley, but I bet this song will be stuck in your head while you read this post! (It’s certainly making my toes tap right now, hehe.)

I sat beside teachers and students at Step by Step Learning Centre, spreading margarine on my sliced bread and passing bananas around the table, all whilst sharing ideas with my kaka and dada (brothers and sisters). Despite our different cultural backgrounds, we found soulful connection around the table. I engaged in side conversation with one of the teachers, who began by sharing how grateful she is for Americans who visit Tanzania: how giving we are with our time and money, and how our riches are vastly needed in Africa. She expressed appreciation for the knowledge we had been sharing during physical therapy lessons. Yet, in spite of the poverty of economy she and the other teachers/students face daily, this teacher saw the holes in my heart, and the weaknesses of our western culture. She saw through our economic strength, expressing that Americans are lacking faith and a relationship with God. Looking in her eyes, I knew exactly what she meant: We are losing our spirituality and are in a state of spiritual poverty and crisis.

Every morning at SSLC in Tanzania, I sat in the morning circle with children whose families may still make $1/day. Every child and teacher sang praise to Lord Jesus and thanked God for his gifts & prosperity. Seeing the light in the eyes of these children as they sang their thanks was humbling and grounding (to say the least). I felt consumed with love and union – the richest I have ever felt. It has since been my mission to find God within me, to better define my religious intents, and break through my own spiritual practice. I wanted to carry the love, community, and faith from the morning circle into my EVERY day here in the United States.

And so, this brings me to love: the love that I know lives within me and around me. Though I don’t feel I can entirely define this love and energy, perhaps this love IS God, and love IS my religion.