A train of words scrolled across the screen at Glide last Sunday. Amen. Hallelujah. Right On. Shalom. Salaam. Namaste. The diversity of spiritual practices encapsulated by those few words shows what Glide is all about – radical inclusion. Glide makes space for everyone, no matter where they come from or where they’re going or what they were raised to believe or not believe. It opens its doors to all kinds of people, asking only one thing: that they give and receive unconditional love.
If you’re not familiar with Glide, it’s a church and community organization in San Francisco, best known for helping Will Smith’s character to get back on his feet in The Pursuit of Happiness. It’s in a tough neighborhood, littered with bottles and garbage and needles and reeking of the stench these things bring about. The church is modest, really just a backdrop to the vibrant dancing and singing and celebration that happens there every Sunday morning when people from all walks of life show up to hear the famous choir and revered preacher, Dr. Cecil Williams. Homeless people and rich people and tourists and families and the very old and the very young come together in one place to honor one another and the celebrate the incredible gift we call life – united in humanity and grounded in reality.
One of the holiday season’s gifts is time – time to reflect and ground before kicking off another year. I share the story of Glide because at the core, I think the simple message they preach is the most important one to anchor us as we pack up our menorahs and take down our Christmas trees and negotiate family dynamics and gear up for the year ahead. Love unconditionally.
Amen. Hallelujah. Right On. Shalom. Salaam. Namaste. May today, and all the days ahead, be bright.
Photo by iamtheo, via Flickr Creative Commons.