Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love your Neighbour as Yourself

 It's Day 3 of the fast....

 Jesus spends his time in the temple teaching and curing the blind and lame. When asked which commandment is the greatest, he does not hesitate, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself."

I open my office door to look for Omar Almajdalawi and find him praying on his knees.  He is a Muslim and a partner of Development and Peace visiting here in Canada.  His commitment to prayer and his faith, his Love for Allah, is an inspiration to me  It is February 23rd and I have come to tell him we are ready for his presentation. 

We are funding a project Omar oversees that works with Children in Gaza, helping them overcome the trauma of living in a war zone through special counseling. Tonight, we share a simple solidarity meal with him and about twenty-five other D&P members.  Omar speaks to us about the situation in Gaza, about what it is like to live under siege.  My children are with me.  Jacob, my son, sees the large scar on Omar's arm. It is from pulling his children from the rubble of his father-in-law's bombed home. Fortunately they lived.  My daughter Amy draws a picture - flowers, smiling people, a nice house.  Omar takes her picture.  It nearly breaks my heart.

 Drawing pictures in one way that the children in Gaza overcome their trauma with the psychologists.  Their pictures are very different from Amy's. They look like this:

Love your neighbour as yourself.  How often we fail to do this.  My prayer this night is for Peace in the Holy Land, peace for these children of Gaza. I pray that there be an end to the siege and an end to the senseless violence that comes when we cannot see God in our neighbour.

Special Thanks to All who have already made donations to support my Holy Week Fast for Development and Peace! I have already doubled my original goal of $250 and so have set the bar a bit higher now at $800.  If you have not made a donation yet you can do so by clicking the blue 'support me button' at my fundraising page.


Ann-Christina said...

My best wishes to you as you live through Holy Week in a whole new way. Your reflections are a gift to all of us - thank you!

Kyle Vickers said...

Beautiful post, Luke. My prayers are with you during your fast, and with D&P partners like Children in Gaza.