As we continue through Holy Week our minds and hearts move to Jerusalem, the scene of Christ’s passion during a turbulent time in Jewish history. Yet, turbulent times continue in modern day Jerusalem…
Lisa Loden is one of the most beautiful Israeli roses i encountered during my 5 years living in that ‘rubble-filled’ region. She and her husband, David, are beacons of Light and reconciliation in a region of extremes. They are also conduits of joy through the music they write and share — i remember attending David & Bathsheba, an opera they wrote & produced in Jerusalem.. and their myriad music compilations inspire intense worship & adoration.
Lisa has also been deeply involved in the ministry of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. I met her almost 20 years ago because she was dear friends with one of my best Palestinian friends, Rana. Lisa and Salim Munayer recently wrote a brilliant thought-provoking book, Through My Enemies Eyes, that chronicles many challenges on the path to reconciliation (available on Amazon.com in the U.S. & U.K.)
It’s hard to stand in the middle, especially amidst the extremes of hate. Yet, as we continue through Holy Week, we see Christ with open arms, pierced hands, hanging ‘in the middle’ for us… breathing mercy, ‘forgive them, for they know not what they do’ …
With Lisa’s permission, here’s a poem she wrote before delivering an academic paper on reconciliation earlier this year. Be blessed (& challenged) by her words…
Who stands in the middle,
in the gap between extremes?
Almost alone in spaces undefined
but for endlessly expanding crowds
to the left and right
all convinced of their correctness.
Those who stand in middle spaces
attempt to span, stretch across insanities,
polarities that strain taut toward invisible edges.
Reason gone mad in a time,
in an age that seeks sanctuary,
finding false security at unrecognized margins.
And the sparsely occupied middle place
focused finally in that cross space
where death rises, resurrected
to life beyond categories of correctness,
left and right subsumed, consumed
in eternity’s infinite union.
Lisa Loden ©
p.s. pray for the peace of Jerusalem!!