It’s a commandment.
While we were in Israel I was very aware of the presence of guns and the need to be vigilant against sudden violence. In the place where we live a lot of people own hunting rifles which are kept carefully locked up outside of hunting season, but I don’t know anyone who carries a weapon designed to shoot people, other than police. We don’t see many soldiers in these parts, and certainly we don’t see teenagers in shorts and flip-flops patrolling the community with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders like we saw at a kibbutz.
I don’t live in a place with concrete walls and barbed wire or big red signs in three languages that forbid other ethnicities from entering an area with threats to their lives if they use that road. I don’t know what it’s like to find out, like our guide did the day before he showed us around the site of the temple where Samuel was a boy, that my teenage daughter was standing next to a neighbour at the bus stop when someone passing by suddenly turned and stabbed him to death. The unarmed thirty-year old father of five died in front of her simply for his ethnicity. She was seeing a counselor at school the next day while some websites extolled the killer as a hero. I don’t know what it’s like to be a Christian living in Bethlehem, like another one of our guides, caught in the crossfire between warring factions and being worried about how to feed and protect my family. I don’t know what it is like to stand in the hot sun for hours waiting for someone to give approval that will allow me to simply go to my job. I don’t pretend to have any comprehension of the depth of the complexities of the conflict.
All I know is that I am told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. So I do.
So many people say there is no solution. So few are asking God for His solution -and I do believe He has one. His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His ways. When we come to the end of our own efforts and humbly pray I do believe He will answer. He has a plan for eternal peace. He has a plan to heal the land.