Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Day

The final week of living in Beit Sahour/Bethlehem is here, but the excitement certainly has not fizzled out. Today, as you know, is Valentine's Day. (And I wish a very happy one to allll of you!)

On any other Valentine's Day of the past, the thoughts I have had would seem quite trivial in comparison to today's experience in 2008. Other Valentine Days were spent thinking about baking cookies, giving cards, and the "horrors" of being single on such an occasion. This Valentine's Day, I have examined the heartcries of the people all around me - Palestinian, Israeli, American, and even Native American. (a group of 5 Native Americans who have joined us the last few days. They have built relationships and found many similarities between the Palestinians and what has transpired on US Reservations. They are here in Palestine for about a month)

Funny how all should accumulate on this day meant to celebrate the love for one another in a place thick with both great love and great hatred. Love, at its roots, is loyal to the point of destruction, yet on the other hand, can redeem and restore and build. In a location where nothing is simply explained, love is not exempt. This is Valentines Day in Palestine for me.

Beit Sahour has been the grounds for such examination of the world, people, and myself. In the past three weeks, I have visited Palestinian cities Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jericho, the Jewish settlement Ephrat, a refugee camp, and more. I have been disappointed by human ability to inflict pain of every dimension upon another human being. I am frustrated by things that both US and Israeli and Palestinian governments do on behalf of self interest... representing a whole people though actions that do not communicate its constituents true heart. But I've been pulled in by the resilience and hope, too, especially the hope of Christ. He is definitely the firm foundation for this time of personal worldview shaking and changing.

A Valentine's Party is on schedule for tonight, so I should leave. I hope that this wasnt too depressing... but I pray that all of you are doing well and constantly living each day to its full :)

Happy Valentines Day, I love you all.

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