Today I've bounced from CNN to watching "Return of the King" and back again, from Gaza to the Pelennor Fields. Buildings burn in Gaza, and then in Minas Tirith. The difference? Tolkien's good guys and gals never waver, although some of the people in Gondor are a little on the weak side. But you know who you are cheering for, all the way through the story.
In the real world, right and wrong are not so clearly defined. I grew up thinking of Israel in the way most conventional, mainline Christian kids probably did, that we have a special relationship with our Jewish brothers and sisters and of course after all they have been through they ought to have a country on their historic land.
It doesn't feel so simple right now. People on both sides might like you to think the other side represents Mordor, but how can it be so straightforward?
I'd like to pray for this to be over, but I fear "over" will come only in the form of more destruction.
"Peace" feels like about as powerful a word as "candy" in the face of so much hatred. I minister among people who for the most part see religion as a private matter, so private they would never tell someone what they believe or insist on knowing what the other person believes. If it comes up, fine. If not, well, that's okay.
Is there some middle ground, where we can have our different beliefs and really, truly mean them, and not have destruction of others be any part of them?
Will Gaza be a graveyard for the Israeli army? (Queen Noor said this on CNN.)
Is Hamas holding both Israelis and residents of Gaza hostage to its hatred? (Those were the words of an Israeli government spokesman.)
Is there any way to bring this to a resolution short of killing everyone involved? (This is my worry.) There must be, O God, there must be.