This week I’m traveling around Israel and Palestine with a group from the Church of Scotland and a couple members of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Today we visited Jalazon refugee camp, the place where eighteen months ago, I questioned my faith, my priesthood, my ministry, and in return felt the call to return to this complex land.
We were greeted by kindergarteners singing songs in Arabic and English. Their smiles and enthusiasm and sheer cuteness warmed my heart.
But later we went to meet a family who had lost a son and brother in November, when, at 12 years old, he was shot by a sniper for repeatedly throwing stones near the checkpoint.
And as we heard the story, as we heard about how he had said that if he died, maybe the world would listen, maybe his family, the situation in the refugee camp, in Ramallah, in Palestine would be noticed and someone would do something, all I could think of were those smiling faces of the small children. And I wondered how many of them would survive into their teenage years. And even if they did, what life would look like for them.
On the surface, I have many words, though few of them are appropriate for this blog. But in reality, I have no words, just the silent weeping of my heart.