Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/2014

An American Christian, Palestinian Muslim, and Israeli Jew walk into a restaurant...  They share a meal, laugh and tell stories.  When the evening is through, they embrace and wish one another peace.  ...No joke. 

Thirteen years ago on September 11, I grieved.  Bewildered. Gut punched.  I could not have imagined then that I would have spent this day, September 11, 2014, traveling from the Middle East to the United States, much less spending the evening prior having a meal with an Arab and a Jew in Tel Aviv, Israel.  Yet that's how I spent last night, and today I was in the air between Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. 

But last night... Last night I shared the evening with Arabs, Jews, and Christians in the Holy Land.  We ate.  We laughed.  We joked.  We visited about the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. We shared gifts. We enjoyed each other's company immensely. We ate some more. We embraced.  And we pledged to pray for peace.

After a week together traveling through through Israeli-controlled and Arab-controlled territories, we grew to know each other and in the course we came to appreciate and care for each other.  Of course I and the rest of our American entourage were new to this relationship. You see, our Arab driver and our Jewish tour guide were long-time friends who work together, live side by side, and love each other.

Such is life in Israel. I wish the fringe and the power brokers, the ruling class, and the radicals would learn a lesson from Ahmed and Erez.

I believe peace is possible.  Why shouldn't I?  I follow the Prince of Peace.

In the meantime, I'll be praying for my new friends and praying for the peace of Israel.