All tagged Conversation

An Obligation to Justice

Jesus turning the tables of the money changers

Recently, I had a conversation with an evangelical Christian who argued that a focus on social justice among Christians distracts from the “real issues,” especially evangelism and discipleship. This person argued that we just need to trust Jesus and primarily focus on the spiritual needs of people. However, when I read Scripture, I see a God of justice and a faith that is lived out in action (James 2:14-17).

A Challenging Encounter

Last week I had a very interesting encounter with guests who came to see the offices where I work. After the usual superficial introductions, the conversation turned to questions about who they were and why and what they were doing in the country. Slowly their story began to unfold. They were Christians and were newly married; having come to Israel for their honeymoon. They came on a tour and had planned to stay for the three-month period that their tourist visas allowed and investigate what life in Israel was like.

Middle Space in an Age of Left and Right

I have recently had several interesting conversations with my adult daughter. Growing up in our home, she was exposed to a wide variety of people and learned to respect those from vastly different communities and cultures. Our home was always open, and over the years we had many guests. Meal times were often occasions of deep and interesting conversations. She internalized values of respect for others, fairness, kindness and a sensitivity to issues of justice and human rights.  

Normalization

The following post was written before the most recent wave of violence began, tragically claiming lives on both sides, and resulting in increased police presence, arrests and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian civilians. While I recognize the heightened emotions that Israelis and Palestinians both have and the desire to distance ourselves from each other, I still stand by the following words, with all sensitivity to those suffering from these tensions.

The Overly Honest Storekeeper’s Son

I recently had an encounter that both deeply saddened me but also caused me to really think about the reality of the situation we find ourselves in following the Gaza war, as well as more recent daily violence and tensions.

Sunday Morning Groceries & Conversation

I pull my full cart to the checkout line. A young woman with dark, straight hair smiles at me. My eyes are immediately drawn to the large wooden cross necklace she wears. It is prominent and obvious, and she is proud of it. She is interesting and I’ve never seen her before. I have frequented this store and others in the same chain for years, and the only Arabs in the store are those who work in the deli, re-stock shelves, organize produce and, on rare occasion, bag groceries. I’ve never seen an Arab work at the cash register.