How Does all This Chaos Help?
I’m watching the news from America and shaking my head. There’s a whole lot of chaos and lying and name-calling and general discontent there right now. How does that feel? Does that make you angry? Does it move you to action in one way or another? Does it depress you and cause you to then withdraw and not speak to those who disagree with your views?
Can I offer some advice from someone 20 years in an entrenched conflict with seemingly no end in sight?
Anger can be a GREAT catalyst towards motion, towards energy. Anger suppressed can cause violence and depression (google any psychiatrist worth their salt). I have been taught that conflict that cannot be resolved CAN be TRANSFORMED.
And here’s a little taste of what that looks like:
Yesterday I took my Dad to get radiation treatments in a hospital in Haifa. He will be there for a month and I will take my mother 4 days a week (driving 2 hours there and 2 hours back) to visit with my Dad. Other than that, Dad is going to be alone in the hospital. We have no relatives near the hospital.
My connections with a local ministry that involved Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews has helped me cultivate deep, long-lasting relationships. These relationships are now my salvation in dealing with my Dad being alone so far from home.
First, I called my Palestinian friends in Haifa and asked about the hospital where my Dad is being admitted. They assured me that they knew the hospital and Dad would be in the best care. Then, when my Mother and I finished our second visit, we were invited for a lovely lunch. We were treated like royalty.
Then, when we were not able to come and visit my Dad, my friend showed up to lighten my Dad’s day. She had never met my Dad before. She wasn’t even sure she was waking up the right elderly man in the bed in front of her. She brought him cake! My Dad LOVES cake! They had a conversation for over an hour and brought each other to tears talking about their faith and praying for each other.
My friend called me later and told me it was the most uplifting part of her day, to pray and talk with my Dad!
Why am I bringing this up? Why am I telling you this story?
Because – my anger at the inequalities that I saw being pushed on my Palestinian sisters years ago FORCED me to make a decision. The segregation felt by my Palestinian sisters years ago FORCED them to reach across the division and take my hand. The political atmosphere of hate and violence FORCED us to hold on that much tighter over the years. And now, we REAP what we have SOWN. We, together, make an old man’s day in a strange hospital - a celebration of victory in the Lord!
Let us ALL eat cake!