A moment of personal insight occured for me on Monday afternoon. Let me be honest, my time in Israel was not restful, it was quite tiring, with long days in hot weather, but more importantly a lot of emotionally challenging information to process.
I had intended to write to you all as it unfolded, but I gave up on that on day two. A few thoughts have dripped out over the last two weeks, but nothing coherent and sustained, I have just felt uncertain as to my position on the situation in Israel and Palestine. Who is right and who is wrong? What should we do in the face of injustice that both sides have experienced over many generations and in the last few years? Friends and colleagues seem to want me to say what I think, but I am just uncertain as to what I think.
In addition, the passing of my Grandfather, which I am not ready to talk about more fully just yet, added the extra complication of Grief.
So uncertainty and grief combined to leave me feeling what I will call ‘stunned’. One dictionary definition of being ‘stunned’ tell us that it means to: astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react.
That is how I have been feeling.
On Monday I got a chance to begin unpacking my experiences with one of the pastoral resources I use to care for myself. One session won’t be enough! There was just too much to talk about. But by the end of the session I had a direction.
“Find the centre from which you want to respond to all that you have experienced.” It was great advice! So, what is my centre? Well I am working on that in my own prayer time at the moment. It begins with the teaching of Jesus, who I reconnected with strongly on this trip. It moves from there to reconciliation, and away from any attempt to wield power. That is all I have for now, but I am going to keep working on it.
From the UK, Matthew loved US culture from the first time he picked up a Fantastic Four Comic when he was 12.