Olives for Hope

If the world is ever going to come to peace,
humanity can no longer be recognized 
on a case by case basis.


Allah Kbeer (Ok - OK - You have my attention!)

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

I have spoken many times about how I came to believe that my involvement with Palestine is a matter of faith. I have talked about that process so many times, it has taken on a tone of rote recall. Recently, during a conversation for another entry I am working on, I was challenged to look deeper again. The person I was speaking with, I am sure, did not know the profound affect that the conversation would have on me. That and so much of what has happened over the past two weeks has served to renew my faith in this path.

I do believe from the deepest part of me that this is what I have been prepared to do by (insert higher power of your choice). But, over time, in-spite of all the evidence that supports that belief, I started to feel that "I knew best" how this should happen - what it should look like. I lost the element of trust. I know that when I let go and allow myself to follow, that the sense of joy and peace are incredible, and that "the way opens". However, the demon of security has been my constant companion, whispering in my ear all along "yes, but...what if...." So after writing my entry about Nabil (The people we find in our lives are no accident), I felt a bit hypocritical. Who was I to advise him to listen (for that still small voice), when I most certainly had been playing deaf recently. 

Then I spoke with Nabil's father and he asked, as many do, why I had become involved in the issue of Israel / Palestine. However, this time when I gave my initial, usual response something new happened - he wanted to know more. I wasn't prepared for the "but why..." As I struggled for a rational response I realized I didn't have one. Later as I thought about the conversation and how I could have answered better, I realized that it really is a matter of faith, and as such, there is nothing rational that I can hang an answer on. All of a sudden I realized that I'm OK with that.

The next week I was blessed to speak with Mazin Qunsiyeh and he reminded me of the personal connection I feel for that land and its people. Mark Braverman was the next signpost along the way. He talked about the difficulty in accepting the feeling of being called to do something and made me look at why I had been hesitating to trust in my own sense of calling. Somewhere in all this I gave two presentations; one a totally new one about the Nakba. As always, when I finished, I was left with a total feeling of energy yet calm. I think this is what people that study these things call "flow".

These signs challenged me to go deeper, to find a new dimension to my commitment. I was finally ready to listen again. I had been looking for a new career direction; and I have often said that I would be very happy to find a way that I could earn a living which incorporates my passion for justice in Israel / Palestine.  I won't go into all of the pieces that came together next, but not only  I did realize that it is time to go back to school, I understood what that would look like.

Once I accepted the challenge, immediately, that sense of joy and peace wrapped me like a blanket. I know this is how it works - I have been shown so many times - why do I hesitate to trust? But, as I moved from that moment, again the doubts started to show up and they had my parent's voices. They mean well (my parents), I know they love me and no matter how much I believe this is the path that has been laid for me, it is so hard for them to take that leap of faith with me. So their doubts started to become my own.

Then boom - sometimes we do get a burning bush. As I started wavering at the edge of that cliff I was given a big shove. Suddenly I found myself unemployed and free to skip down the path set before me. When I last spoke to Nabil, I told him a story of my experience at an Israeli check point. He commented "Wow, you're not afraid of anything!" No, all of this scares me plenty...but I know that everything I need will be provided. Allah Kbeer.



Categories: Random Thoughts