Dream and cry

I read this article this morning:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/11/05/1209976575/israel-hamas-war-hope-empathy-personal-stories

In it I read of Maoz Inon:

Maoz Inon — who swims every morning to keep from drowning in grief — says he’s experienced this other reality of peace. He and his wife opened a guesthouse in Nazareth in 2005 that serves both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. And he’s seen these two groups “not living next to each other but living among each other based on equality” in what Inon calls a shared society…

Inon says he had something of a vision after this war began. It was the middle of the night, and he awoke in tears.

“And I saw an image of everyone crying,” he recalls. “Just we all cry — you cry, your daughter cry, everyone. And our tears are healing the wounds from Israelis and Palestinians. And our tears wash the blood.”

He says we shouldn’t have more weapons, build higher walls and create better security systems. “That’s the old world, OK? You want to start a new world? We need to cry.”

“And then,” he says, “we’ll see the path for peace.”

The old world and the new. So provocative, for that is the language of the New Testament.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… e will wipe every tear from their eyes.

This vision is what has inspired countless thousands of those we know and many more of those we do not know, those who could echo those immortal words ‘I have a dream’. We can intellectually discuss the ‘when’ and ‘how’ of that fulfilment but any discussion has to be connected to current hope and faith.

Maybe, and I say maybe, we could globally be moving toward a turning point. I wrote, earlier this year, about the season where boundaries will become visible, with all that is written in Scripture on the area it is not a small side-issue. Gaza is a bloody reality that sadly is causing division among many who are no-where near the situation, more division than tears and a call for a peace path. The Roman pax-Romana was by the sword (hence Paul’s ironic critique of the sword in Rom. 12), peace by blood; the Jesus peace was by his own blood. There is all-but no hope currently – such was also the time when Jesus came, at the ‘fullness of time’ – when there was no hope for Jew nor Greek. What about now? I am sure we have entered a level of unprecedented crisis (many crises), and a big global sign is ‘no hope’. While out this morning I was praying realising that we pray for the transformation of the world – and indeed we must persist – it is not in God’s hands, but if we cry s/he will partner with us, partner with Maoz (regardless of faith nor ethnicity).

I have a dream, and maybe we wake up amidst the dream to tears and pain. Both have to co-exist.

3 thoughts on “Dream and cry

  1. Thank you Martin for the inspirational article those people are exceptional human beings. Is it okay to share it?. Yes when trying to pray for the situation it feels hopeless for sure and can’t really get direction seems hollow anything I pray!!. Tears certainly seem to be the most appropriate response – lament as prayer? Division in west over this issue is such a loud voice and biases never been more evident to the point where it’s hard to know what the absolute truth is except we know that Gaza is a wasteland and death stalks the streets every day. We are seeing the embodiment of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ however much anyone wants to spin it. It seems to be the age of outrage on both sides of the argument everyone up in arms and berating their opposition loudly and resolutely and with a few exceptions sticking to their particular ‘orthodoxy’. I know that we still have to look to heaven to believe that there is a chance of the kingdom coming however impossible it seems right now. It’s getting harder!!!

    1. Thanks Joanna – I am sure it is OK to share, give a link to the article if possible when you do that.
      Inspirational indeed.

  2. Thanks Martin. This might sound strange but the words of the people in the article comforted me. It has been so difficult to watch children get bombed while being denied the basics of survival. . . water, food, shelter. And indeed it has caused me to wonder how anyone comes out of this and not be radicalized for further violence.

    This is part of a larger picture with the resurgence of nationalism, right wing authoritarianism and other violent ideologies. We have a significant number of people who believe might makes right and power is the answer to all problems. Not unlike the peace Rome imposed on their world. Empires love to tout their way as stability which is really simply the appearance of peace.

    Can we find another way? I dearly hope so. The hallmark of authoritarian, violent societies is a failure to actually govern and meet the needs of their citizens. I look ahead to a time of ongoing disasters due to climate change and it is clear, we need good governance. Everywhere, at every level. Is it fantasy to hope that this current conflict can actually be resolved and demonstrate how to move forward not only in a time of boundary conflict but also in a time of climate crisis?

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