Link Love (2)

Ook op deze zondag deel ik graag weer een aantal artikelen met jullie die ik de afgelopen week heb gelezen en waarvan ik vind dat het echte aanraders zijn om te lezen.

Israël-Palestina conflict

Er was iets fundamenteel veranderd in de houding van de mensen in Gaza, en we hebben dat nog niet eerder zo meegemaakt. Mensen geven de hoop op. Ze kunnen niet meer denken aan een toekomst in Gaza. Ze kunnen alleen nog maar denken: hoe komen we deze dag door, hoe komen we aan water, waar moeten we slapen, hoe krijg ik mijn kinderen naar school. En vooral: hoe komen we hier weg. Bijna iedereen is er mee bezig om dit sterfhuis te verlaten, voordat de kinderen die nu nog leven er ook aan gaan.

Geloof

After a Generosity Dinner, we share the stories of people we know who have some kind of need. We request the wisdom of the group and try figure out simple ways to help people. At the end of the evening, we take the money we have collected and direct it towards some of the different needs. 

In the Preface to his book Exclusion and Embrace, theologian Miroslav Volf tells a storyabout how at the end of giving a lecture once, Professor Jurgen Moltmann asked him publically ‘But can you embrace a cetnik?’ Volf explains that at that time in 1993 cetniks were Serbian fighters who were destroying his homeland. The lecture that Volf had just given was on embracing our enemies. He writes that he struggled with that question but ultimately answered by saying, “No, I cannot- but as a follower of Christ I think I should be able to.” I thought that was a really honest answer and one that reveals the struggle that we have as followers of Christ who are called to practice forgiveness, generosity and inclusivity towards those we would see as our enemies.

I forget that behind each of those sensational headline are names, faces and stories. I have the Western luxury of casually glossing over 100 days of hell that little girls have endured, 100 days of red-eyed, bone-weary, soul-crushed Mamas and Daddies keening with their voices hoarse, begging with empty arms outstretched for their precious girls back. 

These days, I still pray best through baking. Mixing up carb-loaded comfort is my liturgy and taste-testing my sacrament. Hold your eye rolls for one second while I tell you that the secret ingredient is love. (And butter. But mostly love.) This isn’t the only way I’ve found to interact with God though. We communicate when I photograph mountain wildflowers, when I lie back to watch the stars, when I cuddle my sleepy daughters, and even when I go running—each physically emotive act expressing my soul better than words ever did. I’ve come to realize that this kind of physical-emotional intentionality is my personal prayer language, the completely unconventional way that God has chosen to connect with me.

Self Empowerment

Look at the work you do and say, “I am good at that.” Look at the work you dream of doing and say, “I would be good at that.” And then do it.

IS

ISIS is not so much the cause of the present crisis, but rather a result of it – there will not be a quick and easy answer to these root causes of the crisis in Iraq and Syria that led to the rise of ISIS. Neither direct international military action nor delivery of arms to the potential local opponents of ISIS can be excluded, as a last resort and under strict conditions to counter and contain clear and present danger of genocide, large-scale war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing.

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