Once, when we were spending a day at Disneyland and had just finished dinner Downtown, we noticed crowds and crowds of women carrying long-stemmed roses.  

We kept an eye out for their source and found a small group of women, heads covered in sumptuous yet nondescript scarves, gifting them away. My daughters (J, and her best friend), walked over to accept the flowers, asking about the cause (to share that Islam is not a violent or hateful religion), and how they could help the women share their message.

As we continued back to the parks, we passed several people carrying roses, too … only the flowers couldn’t distract from the ugliness leaving their mouths. 

 Why'd they have to come out with their heads covered? I want the flower, but I want to rip the tag [with a passage from the Quran on it] off. Why are they even out here?

It took my girls all of five minutes to stop and listen, to say thank you for the flowers and receive hugs of thanks in turn. So, I wondered what motivated those others to accept these offerings with such ugliness on the tips of their tongue. Would they say the same of women trying to share Christian fellowship? Am I jaded to think they would’ve been kinder? Accepting?

. . . . .

We’re driving home on the 15 north today and I spy a cross planted boldly on a nearby mountain. Seeing it there, as if it has every right to exist, made me wonder why that’s okay, why door to door sales of Christ is readily accepted, but the idea of a handful of Muslim women sharing offerings of peace and beauty are treated with disgust and disdain. I wonder when religion became so ugly and twisted that it could no longer recognize how beautiful it is for anyone to believe in anything, even if it’s not just the one thing.