Crossing from the West Bank into Jordan
For several days I've been in Israel-Palestine, visiting old friends and making new ones. I love coming to this land, not so much to see the traditional holy sites as to step into the holy space of listening and learning. That space always transforms me and I am grateful I get to return to it again and again. But today, something new: I'll be crossing from the West Bank into Jordan, for nearly a week of listening and learning from Syrian refugees and from those who are walking with them through this time of displacement and suffering. For nearly two years I've been gripped by the stories coming out of Syria. I've raised money for Syrian refugees; a tiny bit, a drop of water in a vast ocean of need. Sadly, experts suggest the horrors of Syria's war will only get worse; no one seems to know how to stop this violence playing out in the bodies of innocents men, women and children.
There are plenty of shocking statics I could cite here. In the coming days and weeks, I'm sure I'll share many of those. But as I prepare my heart, mind, soul for Jordan, it's not numbers I'm preparing for; it's faces, stories, tears, and perhaps some smiles. Smiles. Two years ago I took a group of women to the Democratic Republic of Congo, another conflict zone, another place of violence played out in innocent human bodies. We prayed that in some mystical way (beyond human explanation) our "presence" could create a space of healing for people we met. That prayer was answered. We had encounters that seemed bathed in a kind of holy magic. And we saw smiles--not quick, light-hearted smiles, but shy, slow smiles, prompted, we hoped, by a tiny hint of hope.
Will you join us in prayer?