Monday, December 05, 2005


The word--when it happens to cross my mind--always conjures the face of our friends, Hananya and Devorah, and the notion of hospitality. That's because Netanya was the first stop on our tour of Israel, and the first thing we saw, upon opening the double doors of our hotel, was an offering of juice: a half dozen trays of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple juice. I chose grapefruit (I always do), and as I sipped the slightly foreign concoction, I tried to make myself believe I was really standing in an Israeli hotel.

Hananya and Devorah live in Netanya. We met them in line at LAX and formed an instant connection, one that deepened during our conversations in Toronto and at Ben Gurien airport, and bloomed altogether at the end of our trip, when they drove from Netanya to our hotel in Jerusalem and swooped us up for a dinner of falafel and hummus in their favorite restaurant in the Arab section of town. Over that meal, we shared Jesus with them. If I live to be a hundred, I will never experience a higher privilege than what I was given during those three hours--the chance to tell my Jewish friends how much they are loved by my Jewish Savior.

This morning, I am grieving the violence that occurred in a market in Netanya. For three weeks now, I've been feeling an urgency to pray for Hananya and Devorah, and every time I stop to pray, I find myself praying for their safety. I am praying this morning that they were elsewhere when that young, smiling Palestinian blew himself up. I am praying that Devorah found no need to visit the market at that hour; that Hananya was safe in his office; that their son Yonathan was ensconsed in a classroom.

And I am wishing for peace for my friends--and the land that I love like my own.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces." For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, "Peace be within you." Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good. --Psalm 122:6-9


6 Comment:

At 12/05/2005 10:05 AM, Anonymous Pam D. had this to say ...

This is amazing... Today, when I checked the blog of a woman pastor I've been listening to lately, loving her strong teaching from the Word, I found 4 new blog entries as she diaries her trip to Israel. Just now, when I went home for lunch, I tuned into a christian interview with a man sharing his strong heart for Israel, our need to pray for them, share Jesus with them etc. Now I come here and find your entry... The Spirit is moving hearts today and it must be something powerful He wants to move there, this day. I will join you in your prayer for your friends. It's hard for me to pray for "nations" of faceless people. But put a name to them and my heart goes to prayer!

At 12/05/2005 11:26 AM, Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. had this to say ...

I have asked our Almighty Father to take me home, because I can nolonger bear the agonies and ironies of humankind as we spill our guts and blood everyday in the rage of the wrath of the idols we have sold our souls to and now the demons in their legions are on rampage in all the regions of the earth. We drown in the flood of our tearshed and bloodshed.

I have died more than a million times as another fellow human dies in a million and one places all over the world.

God save us, lest we all perish.

At 12/05/2005 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

This is not my blog, but I'd like to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus, rather than the world. Let Him bathe you in His peace that passes all understanding...and fill your mind and heart with His word. You feel his heart, but you can turn that to prayer -- He works mighty victories in this world thru our prayer and praise, using them to conquer the evil. Read 2 Chronicles 20 -- just as he said to Jeshoshaphat, the battle belongs to Him, and if we will sing his praises as a prayer He will defeat and destroy our enemies. Be encouraged in Him and know that He has might things for you to do -- to shine His love and light in a dark world!

At 12/05/2005 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

I heard about this from a radio report while driving and was greatly saddened. Having been to Israel several times, I feel it is home. It's in my blood.

Thank you for sharing your heart.


At 12/07/2005 12:31 PM, Blogger Milton Stanley had this to say ...

I'm off-topic here, but just wanted to say: Glad to hear you won a Blog of Beauty Award. You deserve it. Peace.

At 12/07/2005 1:12 PM, Anonymous Christie had this to say ...

Shannon...I am praying for my new friends from Israel too. We just got back from our first ever visit about a month ago. We left on the day that the bombing in Jordan happened....hearing about it as we boarded the busses to the airport.

I wrote several entries about the trip here: http://www.angelfire.com/art2/crickl/view/index.blog?topic_id=1027370 if you want to read about it! We did not go to Netanya, but I think our bus security guard is from that city.

It is a life changing thing to go to Israel...I was so glad we went!


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