Your People will be My People

I believe in grace and mercy and that “Love heals all things and everybody”.  I believe in choosing forgiveness over revenge and that in the end the Light wins.  And I am surrounded by powerfully loving people who want the best for me and for the world.  And still, still, still I carry a hidden despair in my heart:  why is there  violence, betrayal, injustice?   I wonder how to live my privileged abundant life in the face of absolute poverty and civil wars in other countries, and continued racism, homelessness and hunger in my own country.  I do despair.

Three years ago I met a new friend, a Jewish woman intensely curious about her own healing and growth and deeply committed to peace in Israel.  Judy and I developed a fast affinity for each other and delight in each other’s company as we share our  mutual desire for peace (and luscious curling laughter).  She spends several weeks in Israel every summer working for peace.  When I told her of my congregation’s participation in a trip to Israel and Palestine to bear witness to the violence and to walk in solidarity with the Palestinians this past August she was intrigued.

Last Sunday morning, before church, I read that three of the travelers to Israel and Palestine were sharing in the service and I shot a quick email to Judy.  She slipped into the service late, missing all the delegates’ sharing and catching only the congregational sharing of prayer concerns, and the final song.  The song was all about Jesus and as I glanced over at Judy sitting a few seats away I saw her lips moving as she sang along to this song, this new song, this song about following Jesus.

When I asked her later about singing about Jesus, she told me that the moment she walked into the space  she could feel the snapping energy of a people seeking God.  She told me she felt the power of the Divine in this space that is sacred to us, that she wanted to honor this, and to be respectful in my house of worship.  She told me that yes, she can sing about Jesus for we are all moving towards, and in, the same God.

I don’t know always how to get beyond that lingering despair in my heart.   However, I do know in the moment of watching Judy sing about my Jesus, I felt such a fullness sweep through me there was no room for despair.  I still feel that palpable connection, transcending difference in belief, culture, and history.   The Spirit feels heavy, weighty,  profound and full.  Perhaps in that moment, which continues to pulse every time I visit it, we are in the very breath of God.  Perhaps this is the place where there is no room for despair.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Melody Schaper

     /  September 29, 2013

    Oh Tina your writing is so beautiful and your thoughts and feelings are so profound. Thank you for sharing. What a gift to be able to take in a bit if your perspective of the world within and without. Blessings of peace, melody

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply
  2. karen alderfer

     /  September 29, 2013

    You got it Tina – I believe in love. I love you! I love Judy.
    In gratitude, Karen

    Reply
  3. I loved this!!!

    Reply

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