Sunday, July 16, 2006

I have dear friends who live in the Galil, in a breathtaking valley a few kilometers south of the Lebanese border. On my most recent visit to see them we sat at sunrise on their roof terrace listening to a chorus of birds over the awakening countryside, and I wondered what it was about human beings that we are collectively so able to create violence and fear around such beauty. We've been engaged in intermittent correspondence over the past few days, whenever it has been safe for them to emerge from their bomb shelter.

I also have an old friend who lives in Beirut. They are separated by only a small distance and live in very different worlds, but are linked at the moment by the common theme of ordinary lives turned upside down by fear, violence, and uncertainty. I think of them every day, and pray for a time - which I accept may be a long way off - when we can figure out how to truly hear each others' stories, and in which we might find a way forward that involves much more talking and much less fighting.

Justin

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