Everyone’s focus on the task at hand made those short 15 minutes very productive. It was impressive to see how —with concentrated effort—we were able to turn a simple task into something with a more profound impact. I have to admit that at first I was skeptical. What did faith have to do with sandwiches? How could we claim this was an interfaith event? We were just making sandwiches, after all.
It was only later I realized that, in a way, the disconnect I felt in fact spoke in favor of the event. Faith didn’t have much to do with it; there was nothing particularly Christian, Jewish, Muslim about the event… Rather, it was simply a gathering of people who, for a variety of reasons, felt the call to support their community in an easy and effective way. Whether this was based on a particular religious conviction—or no conviction at all—these people were gathered together to complete a task. And that task, in turn, benefited the community.
I think this is the best, most idyllic version of religion—especially in relation to interfaith dialogue. This event exemplified that when it comes to service, it doesn’t matter what you believe, or why you believe it. If your beliefs call you to serve—and to serve with others that may think differently than you—that is for the good.