My attention this week was caught by some news from Florida, where there is a memorial to the Northern Ireland journalist, Lyra McKee. Lyra McKee was killed in 2019 when she was struck by a bullet as she covered a riot in Londonderry. The main story was the death of a journalist doing their work, but a sub-text emerged as Lyra was gay and appears to have faced hostility by some as a result of this. Two years before her murder, she visited Florida as part of a delegation to visit the place where a gunman had recently massacred 49 people at a gay nightclub. As part of the trip, her party were taken to a mosque. She was not keen on this, as she later admitted; “I hated myself for much of my life because of what religion taught me about people like me and when I stopped hating myself I started hating religion,” (BBC News website). However, she found reconciliation through the mosque, where she was welcomed and learnt how it had led condemnation of the massacre.
As I read this, I found myself thinking about Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan, where the love of God is not shown by a priest or a Levite (a temple helper), but by a Samaritan, a person who the injured man would consider to be of a different faith.