Today Virginia wanted to wish Muslim friends around the world Eid Mubarak, a blessed Eid-ul-Fitr to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Since most of my Muslim friends live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, unfortunately today there’s not much to celebrate there.
My heart is breaking for the loss of lives and devastation! As many readers know, I spent a considerable chunk of time in the Middle East working for an agency that supported programs in Palestine and Israel. That may have been years ago, but it seems like the cycle of violence hasn’t changed much.
Extremism. Bombings. Conflict. Injustice. Suffering.
Children and civilians paying a terrible price: death and loss amidst piles of rubble.
Set aside your strident politics, theology, and religion, this is about people: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, children – all beloved of God.
Both sides of this current conflict need people to shout out peace. Maybe the Middle East seems far away to friends in America and around the far corners of the globe, but we can shout peace as we get down on our knees and pray heartfelt cries for reconciliation, for love to shine in the darkness, for the construction of new bridges of understanding amidst the rubble of contentious conflict.
“We are all people with souls, sparks of the divine.” Henri Nouwen
Please pray that the love of God will enter Gaza and Israel somehow today, that sparks of the divine within people on both sides of the border will burst into flames of compassion for all. That the desire for peace will grow in the rubble of the battered hearts and lives in Israel and Palestine.
On this Eid-ul-Fitr I ask a special blessing for Muslim friends, Christian friends, and Jewish friends in Palestine and Israel: a blessing of peace, salaam and shalom.
May God raise up courageous voices shouting peace instead of war!
grace, peace & courageous prayers