Monday, April 16, 2007

New Jerusalem and the Middle East - an interesting perspective

I was just in the middle east last week, staying mostly in Jerusalem but traveling to several locations in the West Bank. I was listening to the song about New Jerusalem before I went (great CD by the way!) It sure is a complex time over there, I came home with a lot deeper understanding than is possible through the news, but not with any clear answers. The song captures well the ever present fear that Israelis live with as part of daily life. There is a whole other side, the hardships of Palestinians who are driven to the fringe of society by all the security measures and differential laws. We visited refugee camps where people have been living since 1948, lots of poverty and frustration there...... it's a place of such contrasts, the beautiful old buildings and the settings for so many of the Bble stories, and the stark reality of today. The Christians we met with were mostly Palestinian which was how we got to hear so much about their perspective....... they often referred to the phrase "living stones" in reference to the people there today. They would use it in this way, "don't come just to see the stones here (old buildings, landscape etc.) but see the living stones here too, (the real people living here today, I think they meant espcially the Christians as they are a minority within a minority, many have left, many of those with options.) Anyway, as you can tell i had quite an experience there, lots to tell. Sorry to go on about this, but you started it with the song.....NS