Thoughts from Israel (Tuesday 10.08.09)

Bell Tower of the Jerusalem Intl YMCA
With tomorrow being our last day of touring and then a red-eye flight back to the States, I wanted to post a few thoughts tonight on our day.

We traveled to the Jerusalem Intl YMCA today and had a tour by the CEO Forsan Hussein who was a very gracious host. The background along with the building was impactful. While we have been tourists for 8 days doing “tourist” things, today we began to get a sense for the people of Jerusalem and Middle East.

A couple of thoughts:

People are great everywhere! We allow a minority report to cloud our judgment and set our opinions. And it has become apparent that this minority report is inaccurate. The ChildCare Director shared a story of calling a local TV station to tell them about a gathering of Muslims, Jews, and Christians at the YMCA and asked if they had any interest in covering it. The station told her that if a fight broke out to call, but if not, they did not consider it newsworthy! If that is happening in Jerusalem, can you imagine what is taking place in the States?

Secondly, we all face difficulties, troubles, and situations that we wish were not reality. The day-to-day remains the same in that we are concerned about our families and careers and the stuff that makes life livable. Most people in Jerusalem do not sit and think about the terrorism or peace process or anything else besides their day-today life.

Thirdly and most important in my mind, the struggle in Israel is not a “holy war” as we are led to believe. It is a war about land and economics. The people we have talked to do not consider religion when they think about the peace process. Interesting indeed. And I have more to process about this fact which I will share a bit later. But could it be that we are the ones (American Christians) making a bigger deal out of Israel’s holy land covenant than the Jewish people themselves? It appears that way to me…

Again, what a great trip and one that I will not soon forget or be able to digest. Much more to come.