During my last months in Afghanistan, the University of Maryland satellite school in Salerno offered a course on World Religions. I took this class to help me understand the Islamic influence in the world. It was a class that covered all the major religions. It was interesting and I made an A in the class and got 3 college credits. Ironically, it is the only college credits I have to my name.

It was a lot to digest as it covered the three Abrahamic religions, plus Hinduism and Buddhism and all their associated gods. So, we go through life hearing of the different gods that people across the world follow and worship, and never really give it much thought. But since visiting with Uma and Kris who are Hindu, it became interesting.

One day when I came to pick Dani up, she was sitting with Uma who was telling her about their gods, and the stories behind some of them. “We have a god for this and we have a god for that, etc.” I remembered hearing about the stories of the different gods at the class in Salerno, and now listening to someone who believes this way so casually was an eye opener.

They have many small Hindu statues throughout their house and even a small room similar to a walk-in closet for their shrine, but they also have several crucifixes displayed; there is even a picture of Mother Teresa on the wall. It was as if they honor all religions. India used to have a caste system that has since been abolished, but some people still cling to it. The other day Uma was telling me about the relative of someone or another, (it is difficult to follow what she is saying sometimes because of her beautiful accent), but it was a story about a certain member of that family who shunned someone because of the caste they were born in.

So, when I tell others about Uma and Kris being Hindu, I am intrigued with how they react. One good friend who I thought would say something pertaining to it not being Christian, listened intently and remarked how he met many Hindus while working in a prison ministry, and was impressed with them.

I will tell the story to others sometime and will see how they react. The more God shows me other people and their beliefs, the more I realize there is to discover and accept. When it’s all said and done and we are all standing in line to explain ourselves, we need to concentrate on what we will say about ourselves, because at that point, no one else matters, and I know it will be very difficult for me.