“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” - John 3:16
"Unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality… Right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There’s one advantage to approaching life’s experiences with an open mind and willing heart. Such was the case for me on my first journey to Israel. It was such a blessing to journey to the land of the BIBLE with seasoned trip leaders, Minister Victoria Hearst and Pastor John Peyton. My friend and pro-life partner Day Gardner was on the journey. In fact, I first heard about the trip from her.
We were a small and prayerful band of pilgrims on (in the word of the trip leaders) “our journey of faith.” Mere words cannot describe our experiences. We definitely experienced encounters with Jesus the Christ in the majestic land of His Life, Death and Resurrection! The Gospels literally came alive for us as we visited, prayed and reflected at the places held most sacred and dearly in our hearts. We traveled all over the land, even in a bullet proof bus into the controversial “West Bank.” In the market places, we met Jews and Muslims who were working together in close proximity, and all the while, we felt safe and secure.
I wept on the Mount of Olives, sang “How Great Thou Art” on the Sea of Galilee and washed my feet in the River Jordan, wept again in “Hadassah (Esther) House.” Day rode a camel, and I tripped and sprawled on the stones of Jerusalem trying to capture the photo. Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, a walk on Via Dolorosa, a visit to the Skull Mountain and the Garden Tomb… Bethlehem, Nazareth…These are experiences that words cannot express.
Day and I met with pro-life leaders from the Orthodox and Messianic Jewish communities. We had many opportunities to share the pro-life message along our journey. Pastor John Peyton, one of our tour leaders devoted one whole evening session to talking about the sanctity of life from conception until natural death.
One thing that was consistently apparent, it isn’t the masses of the people of the land who are fighting, they aren’t responsible for the tension and war talk. The people who inhabit the small geographical territory of Israel are human beings. They are parents with children. They are people who want a safe place to live and love. It is so unfortunate that the political unrest causes parents to fear for the safety of their children. As is often the case in almost every country on the planet, it is political differences, greed and power struggles that add the fuel to the fire so to speak. All the talk of peace negotiations and land swaps are made by a handful of humans, and the masses suffer trying to sort through the propaganda.
My Uncle Martin Luther King, Jr. and my father, Rev. A. D. King taught us that war and laws and political battles only begat more of the same. Laws may bring people to the table, but it is love that will melt hearts and bring the healing power of forgiveness. This is true in Israel, and our group bore witness to this truth. Don’t take my word for it, though. When God speaks to you, and beckons you to come… “Go ye!”