The war over God-given land rights that's been taking place between Israel and Palestine since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 continues to escalate. I woke up this morning to another headline: a young Palestinian was murdered after three young Israelis sought a victim to avenge the murder of three young Israelis who went missing last month, whose bodies were discovered a couple of weeks ago.
I received an e-mail from a local synagogue yesterday asking for help in the form of protein bars for special teams of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Do I support the murder that springs forth from this terror-filled war by helping the soldiers? Do I support murder if I don't help the soldiers? As I scroll through the social network feeds of my Jewish and Muslim friends, I see anger and shame at the failure on both sides to seek peace. I see two controversial Facebook groups, "Israel Loves Palestine" and "Palestine Loves Israel," decrying the hatred and violence.
How long will the fight over this holy land continue? How long will bloodshed reign? How long will terror beget terror?
I am aware that this is not my fight, that I am a privileged, white, Christian American who has little reason to fear for her safety on the basis of borders or religion. But it is my fight, because we are all human, and all the world is the household of God.
Did you read the story about the 16-year old Palestinian boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and murdered about a week and a half ago by a gang of Israeli young men and boys?
It's this picture of what happened afterward that stands out for me:
Perhaps it will be women who end this horrific fight. Perhaps it will be women who illumine the way to kindness that knows no boundaries, compassion that transcends religious ties, and self-emptying, hatred-deflating love that witnesses to God's embrace of all creation.
May peace come swiftly--in Palestine, in Israel, and in my own stony heart.
What in me needs to change so that my religion and my nation's borders do not threaten the lives and joy of others? What in me needs to change so that I might become a bright beacon of God's enveloping peace?