A True Test of Faith

the following was sent in an email 5 hours after the article in SojoMail came out; dec. 8th Israel time. at the time, 15 emails had already found their way into my inbox and i wanted to respond to them all. as i wrote, emails kept coming in and i kept adding addresses to the ‘to’ line. i figured it would be easier to just allow everyone who has been visiting here as well to read the context behind the last few days with me….

thank you all for responding to the article, i have been in a deep valley as far as my level of emotional and spiritual energy for a few days, and reading the article for myself for the first time and reading all the responses were enormously moving. i am still in palestine, and i have recently been accused, subtly, of being anti semitic because i would probably not kill hitler. also, i was told (both comments by an orthodox jewish settler in palestine) that it was a sin to lay down my life so that evil may continue (example was given of being pointed a gun at my hypothetical child, i said i would do whatever it took to put myself in the path of the bullet before i even thought to kill his attacker). i was speaking to this woman in an effort to find humanity on both sides of the palestinian/israeli issue; i had just spent two weeks with various palestinian families affected by the israeli ‘security fence’ and other egregious policies and practices utilized against them. i wanted to explore a level-headed, considerate exploration of the legitimacy of the israeli settlement movement with her, an advocate for israeli settlers in palestine, a practice labeled “deplorable” and exceedingly illegal by the international community at large. instead, she was the first individual in three weeks to attempt to justify violence as an appropriate, even welcome manner to settle the conflict. [edited] anyway, i have been struggling with just an overwhelming disgust at her bold comment that she would ‘blow Gaza to kingdom come’ herself had she the means to achieve it.

today i watched a nonviolent demonstration get out of hand in Bil’in, north of Ramallah, and IDF soldiers firing plastic bullets at children throwing stones at them from a distance dan marino would fail to cover. so i have been really struggling against dehumanizing them as well. a few hours ago, i really felt ready to hang up my hat and go home. i hadn’t been online in a few days and knew about the story coming out. i checked my email on the 7th [isreal time], before i left for ramallah, and saw nothing. i felt like an idiot for watching my email so closely and left wondering if people still remembered i was out here. tonight, after a few days in ramallah, i had to think about the woman’s comments all over again to commit it to my notebook. i just closed my laptop and gave up, i was fed up listening to her. i stormed back to the hostel i was staying at, confident that i would get yet another sleepless night amongst what i had convinced myself was the loudest set of dorm-mates that ever existed, when i turned around to get a coffee at the american hotel up the street. i went back to editing some projects i am preparing for presentations when i get home (hopefully i can convince people this is an issue worthy of our immediate concern), when the program i was using crashed, losing all my work after more than an hour sipping bitter coffee and clickclickclicking my mouse. i was pretty freakin frustrated. then i saw my wi-fi indicator light up with ‘wireless network connected.’ wondering to myself how much i would have to pay for this little luxury, i got online. hm. no fee; i found myself at my gmail account. i swear by anything that is sacred, i never clicked on a single email, i didnt even read the sojomail headline until it was the email open before me. the only thing i noticed before the email was before me was that i had 13 emails in one day, a slightly unusual number.

several pages and emails later, my keyboard was drizzled with briny tears and dark, judean desert-hued snot. God came like a rushing wind back into my heart, just as i feared my mind could no longer sustain the rest of me on empirical proof. right as God knew i needed it, he allowed all this to happen. it was like a test, taking me right to the limits of what i thought i could endure after so long, only to be reassured by such wondrous people who took the time to act on the same passion that the Holy Spirit used to wake me up 8 months ago. faith is like a rubber band, the more you allow it to stretch, trusting God will not allow it to break, the larger it gets! i am reminded of the comment made in the film “Dogma,” with kevin smith, of the cup getting bigger and requiring more liquid. the small cup i had as a child is still getting bigger and yet remains full! a few months ago, when i was asked if my cup is half full or half empty, i told the person it is always empty, and i am just fine with it being empty, because i am always taking it to other tables who have no water!

thank you all so much for allowing God to work in you and surrendering your time to write me. i always love to share miracles that i experience, and i could not stop myself from writing you. sorry about the length, i do that sometimes; i sit down and cant stop writing until i stand up with a sweat stain on my upper thighs from the fan of my laptop blowing hot air on me for hours. i will try to take some time to write more later, so many thoughts going through my head. so much stuff in my journal i need to convey to writing on my blog. i plan to correct the very few and minor corrections i found when reading the article, and i was also told to do a testimony for myself so i can direct people to my story who i meet briefly, so when i get some more down time, i will be updating the blog and adding some more contacts to my mailing list…

thank you so much again for not just caring, but showing it by acting upon it


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