Sometimes it seems strange to live in such a beautiful, peaceful place. A place where the water glistens and mountains rise tall in the background; where we don't lock our doors and if there's a loud bang it's almost sure to be fireworks, or a car back-firing. We worry about our health insurance premiums going up, about the price of gas at the pumps, and how our son will get through the next year. But we walk outside to fresh air and green grass and dogs with wagging tails and flowers blooming and it's all easy.
Yes, life is easy where we live.
Then we turn on the news.
And I think of how the one small plot of earth where Jesus walked is the very geography still being fought over since Abraham and Lot first stood and divided it thousands of years before Mary even knew she'd be the mother of God. Not a very hospitable part of this earth, either. Not the most beautiful, easy place to live and make a living. Hard in both ways. But always claimed. Always fought over.
The peace never seems to hold there.
The human part of me wonders why one side or the other doesn't just say, Okay then, take it already. I mean, what's a piece of earth that small? Really. It's just such a small piece. To kill so many so often so many ways. But they've dug their heels in, these peoples. Both sides. Claimed the land as theirs. Because, of course, it is. Each can make a case for it. Can you see this? I can. I can see the case. And the pain of it all.
And the blasted pain that their staking a claim has made. The war that just won't end. The tiny swatch of land where there is no peace.
I don't know what the answer is. But I believe I know where it lies. Or at least in WHOM it lies.
I'm not a Catholic but I think Pope Francis has the best idea. This Saturday, September 7, he's calling for a day of Prayer and Fasting. If enough of us--Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, charismatics, even those who barely believe at all--call on the ONE who is our peace, we will be the difference-makers. We can stand in the gap for Syria. For Israel, Palestine and the whole Middle East.
What do you say we our knees dirty for our middle eastern neighbors, ok?
And call on HIM.
Yes, let's call on our God--our Holy, Triune God--together for those who do not know Him.
"He is our peace, who has broken down every wall."