My busy season starts next week and I must somehow pull myself together.
My first church to visit is in Charlotte.
To be honest I have been somewhat of a recluse since I got back from this
last trip to Palestine a few weeks ago. It has been very difficult
for me to get back in the groove of American life. For almost 3 weeks,
day after day, hour by hour we watched the destruction of Lebanese and Gazan
homes, towns and infrastructure, the mangled and burned bodies of mostly
women and children being pulled from the rubble and the ungodly suffering
of hundreds of thousands of people. We felt with keen sensitivity the
overwhelming tide of anger and anti-American sentiment growing day by day
among the people we love so dearly. I vacillated between horror and
shame - the shame of being associated with such wanton inhumanity and brutality.
What so many Americans seem to forget is that each of the bombs dropped so
carelessly on innocent civilians in both Lebanon and Gaza has "Made in the
USA" engraved on it. I know - I've been on the receiving end
of some of those bombs and shells. I've run for cover in the middle
of the night. I know the terror of hearing F-16s coming in low and
deafeningly loud to drop their payloads. I've walked streets covered
in glass, shell casings and blown apart buildings. I've heard the screams
of the injured and dying. I've physically felt the brutality of the
Israeli Army. My adrenaline starts running just thinking of it.
For me this is not something that happened far away and has no bearing on
I too felt the anger when we watched scenes of Israeli children writing "greetings"
on the shells about to be fired into Lebanese towns and villages or listened
to the ramblings of Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, as he called the
IDF "the most moral army in the world." Can it be that, "They know
not what they do"? I am horrified that there are people here - actually
some right in our own church - who call themselves Christians and agree with
all this. Will someone please tell me where in the "New" Testament
(after all, we are supposed to be New Testament people) or in the sayings
of Jesus Christ does it says to kill, torture, destroy and steal from your
neighbor? There is such apathy here in the States as to what is going
on in the Middle East. Much of it I know is due to lack of knowledge
but still...... Are we not called to be peacemakers? - to stand
up for justice and the oppressed?? Are we not called to do onto others
as we would have others do unto us?
Until I can somehow come to terms with all this I'm afraid I won't be very
good company and most likely will not be at circle this next week.
Grace and peace,