Why is this night different from every other night? And other tales of fancy.
The days here are melting one into the other. Another stabbing at the Damascus Gate today; another 14-year-old knife-wielder chased down and shot. Another car ramming—was it terrorism or a simple car crash? We’ve been living in this violence for so long, I wonder if we will see the change when it comes.
I suppose if you consider Job the day before he was healed, he was in a miserable state. So forlorn and in such pain, the only remedy anyone could offer him was to sit down and die. Did he wake that morning expecting a different outcome, or was it like childbirth—as soon as the baby comes, you forget the pain of the past?
And what about Rahab? Did she know she would be saved from another day of prostitution and humiliation when the spies knocked at her door and rescued her? What were her expectations that morning when she woke and dressed, I wonder?
When Joseph was rotting away in the dungeon in Egypt, day after day, year after year, expecting help time and again from other inmates who never fulfilled their promises, did he lose hope?
Will it be like childbirth for us in Israel and Palestine? And for other places of conflict like Syria, Eritrea or Sudan? Will we forget the pain when it’s finally over?
Today I woke and dressed and went to work. I heard the news of a fatal bus crash last night and a stabbing at the Damascus Gate. An air raid drill interrupted the meeting I sat in at work and I stopped to wonder, who is shooting missiles towards Jerusalem? It was just a drill this time.
It is too easy to lose hope and get used to the new reality. But it is new. It has not always been this way. We become accustomed to the events too quickly and consider it “normal,” but it’s not. This is not the way it was last year. It’s not the way it was 20 years ago. It’s not “normal.”
We have to train ourselves not to accept the status quo. This reality is not normal. We must remind each other of that. And tomorrow can be a new “normal.” Tomorrow's reality can be today's dream. It can be a just and secure freedom from violence for both Israelis and Palestinians. And we can help create it!
What will I be thinking the week before God says, “Enough is enough,” and our world changes? What will I be doing the day before the wall comes down? Where will I be the hour before the rifles are stacked against the armory wall and locked away? Who will I look like the minute before Palestinians and Israelis stand in the same lines or shop at the same stores?
And who will you be?
[EMBED VIDEO AT THE END] https://youtu.be/-JdI9S6sf4g