As I sat at the hair salon waiting for my stylist, I was reading updates from a friend who lives in Israel telling us about the recent bombings there. So I mentioned to my stylist, “Did you hear about the bombings in Israel?” I had recently noticed how the media has been not reported much about the news in Israel that I had heard from my friend.
To my surprise, she said, “Yes, of course, I am Palestinian.” She went on to tell me about her experience when she visited her family in Palestine, how she and her family were treated by the Israeli army.
And as I remained silent, carefully listening to her story, I reflected on how you can be for one side of an issue until you are face to face with the other side.
“It is by the prince of demons that He drives out demons,” the Pharisees insisted of Jesus as the crowds marveled at His raising the dead, healing the sick and casting out demons (Matthew 9:34).
The Pharisees were the strictest and most religious of the Jews. As leaders of the people of God they memorized the Torah and followed it scrupulously. Yet here they were, face to face with God in the flesh, and they refused to recognize Him. They heard His wisdom taught, they saw His power displayed but they call Him the devil. How did that happen?
Not listening. Not patiently seeking to know and to understand. Not being open to other’s ideas, their pain, sorrow, joy. Being so sure of the truth you know that you are blind to the truth you have yet to see.
Jesus was not trying to get them to reject their God but to see Him more clearly. He was not asking them to reject their truth but to know more truth and to live the truth more fully from their hearts.
“Blind guides,” Jesus calls them, and “if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Beloved, I know I must hold onto Your truth. But Your truth is all are loved, on both sides. Your sacrifice and Your desire to save is for all. Let me show Your love always by patiently listening, by allowing myself to get affected by the pain, sorrow and joy of all who I meet face to face. My assignment from You is not to pick a side, but to show Your love to both sides.
Because I can be confident that in the end, You are victorious, I can bring Your kingdom, Your will on earth by fearlessly loving all who You bring to me, no matter what side they are on.