Ramadan comes to an end this week. Muhammad said, "For the person who is fasting, there are two moments of happiness and rejoicing - when he breaks his fast, and when he meets his Lord." At Sojourners we have been blessed to be the crossing point for people all over the world - Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others of good will - who have fasted and prayed for peace this season. In our office it has been good for us to gather as the sun sets for a small break-fast prayer and snacks before heading home.

While the fasting season comes to an end we know that the hunger pains of the poor and our own hunger for justice is ever with us, but in the midst of it we are commanded to laugh and be joyful. Below is a Persian parable from Nasr Eddin Hodja on "Rich and Poor."

Famine and calamity gripped the land. Yet for that, not everyone was dying of hunger: the rich had stored away wheat, oil, dried vegetables, and meats. So the lady Khadija said to her husband, "Nasr Eddin, the whole town considers you a wise man. Stop just sitting around with your arms crossed doing nothing; go to the town square, call the people together, and try to convince the rich to give the poor something to eat." Nasr Eddin found that his wife was very correct in her wisdom. He did as she said. Many hours later he returned home, his face radiant. "My wife, let us give thanks to Allah the Merciful!" "So you succeeded in your task?" she asked. "It was not an easy mission, and I was only partially successful," Nasr answered. "What do you mean that you were 'partially successful'?" "Well... exactly that. I have completely succeeded in convincing the poor of receiving something to eat!"

Blessings and peace in this season of joy.
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