It is not often that, as an adult, you get to see Ramaḍān through the eyes of a first-timer. Unfortunately we tend to become so accustomed to all of the blessings of this holy month that we forget to truly appreciate them. This Ramaḍān a Methodist Pastor in Dallas decided to observe the fast for the entire month, and to blog about it. Reading his blogs has been refreshing for so many. His readership has spread from the Dallas area to as far as Indonesia!
By describing his experience, he has helped practicing Muslims appreciate the true meaning of fasting and Ramaḍān. He has put into words what so many of us take for granted every day! It has given non-Muslims the opportunity to see Ramaḍān in a different light, and it has been a renewal of faith for Muslims who may have forgotten just how miraculous and beneficial this month is. Instead of writing more about what he has done, I will let Reverend Dr. Wes Magruder's eloquent words do the talking:
Day 1: That's what appeals to me in my current spiritual tepidity. I feel as if I need a jolt to my senses. And I know that observing Ramaḍān will deliver a burst of hungering and thirsting for God – a God whom Muslims call “Allāh,” and whom Christians call “Father.”
Day 2: When I fast, I am making the statement – to myself and to the world around me – that I am more than my appetites, more than my desires and urges. I am spirit and I am soul; I am loved and forgiven by a God who cannot be seen, but whose reign of peace and justice is slowly and inevitably coming into being.
In a sense, it is truly a bold, revolutionary kind of statement, because it requires faith in things which cannot be seen.
Day 12: But Muslim prayers are an exciting blend of mind, spirit, AND body. Every move, bow, prostration is itself a prayer – a prayer of muscles, nerves, ligaments, joints. The cumulative effect is that one is wholly immersed in the event. There is no way you can compartmentalize your prayer, or try to multitask while praying – it is what you are doing with your whole self. You have to be completely absorbed in the moment.
And when my forehead touched the carpet on the ground, I found myself deeply awed. I was struck by my vulnerability. I was kneeling forward, head down, neck bared. There is no more vulnerable position than that.
I encourage all of you to read this blog from day 1. Reverend Wes has so much insight that just makes you say, “He gets it!” over and over again. It is a pleasure to read, it will make you smile and cry.
Read “The New Methofesto” here.