Closer to God
Posted on Sunday January 19th, 2020 @ 12:08pm by Lieutenant Damian Kane
Location: USS Poseidon - Chapel
Timeline: Day 002 1200
Da'Wud strolled through the doors to the ship's chapel for the first time since he'd come aboard. He usually chose to do his daily prayers in his quarters, but with having a roommate he wanted to look at alternatives. Walking in he saw obvious signs of a recent cleaning, and he could tell the person behind it really cared, as even the small pews inside seemed to gleam, the wood obviously having been polished by a practiced hand. The room smelled faintly of some sort of incense and had the heavy, comforting air of a place considered holy by those who made use of it.
Approaching a small control panel on the wall, just to the right of the door he'd entered through, he began to scan through the selections of music and various other things he could access from the ship's memory banks. He was astounded by the vast amount of information being stored on the religions from all across the Federation, and even from some that were long extinct. He mused to himself that someone, somewhere, was actively practicing a religion from a civilization that had died long before their own even came into being. It was a comforting thought, especially as a religious human was often considered an oxymoron.
He was still looking through the database when he heard a door open and turned. Behind him stood a figure in science teal, and he had the rank pips of a lieutenant. "I'm sorry if I disturbed you, sir. I was just looking around. I can leave if you would prefer to have the chapel to yourself."
The man smiled. "I was always told that this is a place of sharing. A place of acceptance. And a place of joining. Would you care to join me in accepting the sharing of this sacred place?" Then the man extended his hand. "I'm Damian Kane the Ship's Chaplain. Good to meet you. And welcome."
Extending his own hand Da'Wud grasped the other and shook firmly, "Thank you, sir. It is very good to meet you as well. I would be delighted to share this sacred place with you. I am considering coming here for my prayers, so as not to disturb my roommate. Would that be okay with you?" he asked.
"Of course that would be fine," Kane said assuring the man. "Is there something I can do to make you feel more at home? What music would you like? Would you require a service ever?" Kane said with pride and excitement. "And call me Damian. In here we are all equal."
With a smile, Da'Wud shook his head no, "I'm afraid, friend Damian, that I will not require that of you. And there is really nothing more you could do to make me feel more at home. But from time to time I might want to just sit and talk. There are not very many people around these days that are knowledgable about religions of any kind," he said.
"Are you familiar with the religion of Islam, Damian?" he asked, sinking into one of the nearby pews and crossing his legs.
"There is only one God, and Muhammad is his Prophet," Damian said smiling." I may be a Buddhist monk, but I assure you I can do a service MANY different religions." Said Damian. "Computer, play the Azan," and with that, the sound of the Muslim call to prayer started to play in the chapel.
At the sound of the familiar call to prayer filled the room a broad smile broke across Da'Wud's face. When it was completed he turned to look at the other man. "The two of us are going to be good friends. I can already tell," he said. "I have been on other postings before, and yet I have never seen a human chaplain. It is nice. May I ask what drew you to that career path?" he asked.
"You mean as a Monk or a Star Fleet Officer?" Damian asked jokingly. "Well, as a monk the path kind of chose me. I was the ward of the Buddhist monastery. I spent my entire childhood up on the Tibetan mountain monastery. When I became of age, I was ordained and made a member by my own choice. Best decision I ever made. And as a Star Fleet Officer, well my Abbot decided I needed worldly experience. So, I wondered for a bit. And found my way to The Academy. And that the condensed version."
"I meant more like both. You could have chosen any career in Starfleet, and yet you chose the one that is most obscure, and in popular opinion, unneeded. Was it simply your upbringing that drew you to it?" Da'Wud asked. "Please, do not misunderstand, I am delighted, I simply seek to better understand," he added, hoping he hadn't offended the other man with his poorly phrased question.
" Obscure, maybe. But Unneeded.......Absolutely not. See, everyone has a belief system. Even a lack of belief IS a belief system. we need to work within the belief system of an individual to properly minister to the needs of the individual. We as Chaplains need to have our fingers on the pulse of the crew. We do that by being there. Listening. And, providing for the needs of the crew. And there is so much more. We sometimes work with various ship's departments like Science Section. Like, for example, when learning about new cultures. Their religious beliefs give so much incite as to the moral and value system of cultures. Yes, I spent most of my life and practically all of my adult life as a monk. But, I can say HANDS DOWN, it's the best job ever. " Damian said with a grin.
Damian's grin was highly infectious, "That was a beautiful answer," Da'Wud replied. "It is always nice to see people going into careers they have a genuine passion for. We will have to get together someday to discuss the area you brought up about your helping to learn about new cultures. I suppose it never really dawned on me how much that could help, and there we see the human prejudice against religion rearing its ugly head even in a religious person..." he added with a chagrined look.
“Yes, some have a negative reaction to religion. But, for most who do it’s simply because of lack of exposure. That and their own prejudice on what religion is. It’s kind of funny actually. We like to think of ourselves as truly enlightened. Yet some still can’t accept wisdom from a holy scripture. At one time that person would have gotten his whole moral compass from the teachings of scriptures. I’m happy that some still do. “. Damian said to his new friend.
"Agreed, my friend, very much so agreed," Da'Wud replied, standing. "Well, I must say I am very glad I stopped here today. I didn't expect to meet anyone, but it turns out Allah brought me here to met a friend," he added with a smile. "Now, I suppose I should leave you to your work, and I should make my way to do mine."
" Before you go, I have a parting gift for you. " Then Damian looked to the roof. " Computer, since Ensign al-Bishara to The Blue Project from Lt jg el-Barain from Starbase 4. " the computer chirped and chimed. " There you go. Now, you will be called to prayer from the Azan that was played at The Blue Mosque in Mecca. Lt JG el-Barain is another Star Fleet Chaplain. He is an Imam. and started the Blue Project. It records the Azan from the Blue Mosque in Mecca. It's now in sync with your prayer scheduled. "
A large grin broke across Da'Wud's face as he held out his hand, "Thank you. You have no idea how much that means."
" I do. That's exactly why I became a Chaplain. " Damian said.
Lieutenant Damian Kane
Ensign Da'Wud al-Bishara