When you are passionate about something or someone, you will naturally make your feelings known.
When Frank asked me to be his wife, I was ecstatic and let everyone around me know about our plan to wed. (Actually, I think he may have told more people at the beginning than I did but that's another post.) My love for this man has grown so much richer over the subsequent 39 years. There is simply no doubt how much I value and respect him. My passion for our relationship can not be hidden.
So it is with my love for the people and nation of Israel. Having the privilege to travel there three years ago was the fulfilling of a decades long desire. Even people who mark themselves as having "No Faith" will tell you there is something deeply spiritual and moving about walking in that land.
Today my heart aches for the families of the eleven unsuspecting Jewish people who were targeted and murdered in their house of worship this past week. Evil exploding in a place of trust. There is a reason the meeting rooms in churches are often referred to as "the sanctuary." These are supposed to be places of total safety.
It's quite easy for me to identify with those eleven people of faith. My passion links me to the 26 Texans killed while worshipping on a Sunday morning last year. I also feel connected with the nine people murdered 2 years ago while attending a prayer meeting in SC. They were all doing what I've done countless times. . . celebrating Life as given us by God.
Even while praying for the families of those lost this week, I was reminded of a favorite bit of scripture. "Where sin (darkness/evil) increased, grace (God's love) overflowed much more." This is from a letter Paul wrote to his friends in Rome.
Some mistakenly think times have never been worse than they are now. But evil was definitely present when Paul wrote those words. In fact, he was in prison just because of his faith. Interesting, isn't it, how passionate (in a negative sense) darkness came become toward people of faith?
But here's a simple truth - darkness will never have the upper hand over light! We can hold to that truth, can't we?
As a child, I grew up knowing the storms that so often boiled out of the Gulf of Mexico. During those fearful times, my mom would remind me of the power found in a single candle. Light one in any darkened room and immediately the atmosphere will change. Total darkness must yield when even the faintest bit of light can be detected.
So it is in our world today. We don't have to be the boldest or the brightest of all passionate believers. We simply must be willing to stand. Some things we have no control over. But we all have the power to let God's grace and love flow through us.
Today I do what my passion demands. I make declaration that I stand with Israel and with the Jewish people.
Some have asked if Frank and I still intent to lead a team to Israel next February. Absolutely! What better time than now to let our passion shine? We feel it's a moment of destiny our team will mark together.
Under normal circumstances, I post some sort of warning when I share my personal opinions so freely on this blog. But this feels like an "opinion" more of us should share. Perhaps our world would feel less frightening if we did.
Thanks for taking time to read all the way through. Let's open a dialogue, shall we? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
(Also, we have a couple of spots open still with our Israel trip. Drop a note in the comment box if you'd like more information.)