Greetings with love from the city, which bares His fingerprints. May Yeshua be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and encouraged in all of His best for you.
In the midst of everything, my husband gave me a most wonderful gift of a singing canary. I have always loved animals and have had a number of canaries, but never a red one, like this one. The Middle Eastern canaries are red and this one sings the most beautiful song.
Since we have our Grandson’s aggressive cat, I decided our bird needed a stronger home than the one he had at first. I purchased one and was carrying it home on the train, draped in a plastic bag. It was late afternoon and everyone looked weary and bedraggled. A small tired looking pregnant woman from Ethiopia stood by me and spied the cage as I protected it from bumps and knocks. She smiled a happy smile. “Oh! Is there a bird in there? Can I see?”
I smiled back. “No. I’m afraid that he is at home but he has such a beautiful song that I wanted him to have a good home.”
She clapped. Another young woman piped in: “Oh how wonderful! To have a bird sing in your apartment!” She too began smiling. Soon all of the people around me were happy and talking, enjoying just the THOUGHT of God’s creatures.
And that is how my Israel is…people TALK to each other. Strangers don’t remain strangers. Everyone joins into conversations, discussions, gives opinions, and it just always seems like family.
Today, I watched a young Haradi man talking to a soldier and asking about what it was like being a soldier and soon they were embracing and were friends. I remember being so touched by the young female soldier who got on the bus and passed out large bags of candy a number of years ago. “Celebrate with me! It is my 18th birthday today.” she announced and everyone happily shared her candy to the cries of “Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov!”
Another will say, “Please hold my baby while I go and pay the driver,” and yet another will pass his money forward and ask someone to pay the driver for him. The accurate change coming back hand to hand in the same manner. Some of these things I see less these days as we moved from bus service to “smart cards” trains. However the same helpful heart is there as those of us more technically challenged try to figure out all of the right buttons to push.
This attitude that I find unique to Israel carried over into my work today. Esther is what we call here a mez’ken’ah…sort of poor thing, which means she is mentally disturbed. During the 16 or more years, I have worked for this doctor, I pass her almost daily as she walks the neighborhood streets, sometimes with a large dog. She is perhaps what we used to call retarded as well as psychotic, but she is harmless and approaches people for money or advice or just to talk and share something on her mind that usually isn’t coherent. Everyone talks to her and gives her what she may need. What seems different here is that no one appears embarrassed to be talking to her or to any other needy person.
For the past two weeks she has become more and more needy and out of it. She has begun coming into our office and demanding things, going to the bathroom and asking for meds, things she has never done before because she is not our patient. Over the past week she has come in daily and been more and more disruptive. We have discussed it as she appeared to be entering a crisis.
Today the crisis point hit and we needed to call the police and this is where the beauty of the mercy of it all touched me. She was stuck in the bathroom, unable to get herself dressed, with the door wide open. I couldn’t help her myself so another patient and the doctor helped. We sat her down and tried to adjust her to a comfortable position to await the police and to comfort her fears. A team of four of the most compassionate police appeared. They gently talked with her, so patiently. This poor lady was filthy and disheveled but she is a person and everyone tried to help her, patients as well as the police and all of us.
It was finally decided to call an ambulance. She was swollen and her pulse was rapid. She wasn’t well. I listened as an even more compassionate and volunteer ambulance worker calmed her and asked her questions in a way that finally produced some answers, like her name and an address. Later, another patient who lives in the area filled in some details. She is 63 but it turns out that there are FOUR unmarried siblings who all live together in an apartment that must have been left to them by their parents. The neighbor said they are all like that and that there is one brother worse off then she is, who only leaves the house to go to the hospital, so social workers must look after them. Esther. I put her name on my prayer list, but the incident stayed in my mind.
This morning, on my way to the IFI prayer meeting, I was in the elevator with a policeman (sho’tair in Hebrew) and turned to him (Israeli style) and told him enough of the story to be able to say, “Thank you for the kindness and compassion that your people show to the poor ones.”
He was so thankful to receive the encouragement. It continued later on when I gave the same encouragement to one of our patients. She AND her husband are police officers, and her face got so soft as I thanked her as well. Personal touches, they can do so much. And here, where I live, where I am so often unable to share HIS NAME and HIS TESTIMONY, I can share a touch IN His Name and pray that it prepares soil, breaks up fallow ground, and softens it, so that it will one day produce fruit 100 fold.
And so our Prime Minister has been to America. As far as we can see, it APPEARS that he was able to stand firm. However, none of us know what is happening behind the scenes. While he was there, we saw the dramatic capture of the Iranian arms ship bound for Gaza. It was the smoothest operation that I have witnessed since living here and the whole nation was encouraged. It could have been a scene in a 007 movie. The film clips are playing again and again in our media. The weapons on board, so well hidden, would have enabled Hamas in Gaza to reach every part of the country.
I hear over and over again: “Now the world will U-N-D-E-R-S-T-A-N-D!” I sigh and think, “No. They won’t. Not at all.”
And I remember the Keren A vessel captured a number of years ago, also loaded with weapons. The world seemed ANGRY at us for capturing it. Already Iran is denying all involvement with these weapons and the media is claiming that the timing was just too well set. This world is upside down. Its problems won’t be solved by man’s efforts.
But we can encourage one another to walk steadily in His Light, in the Light that we have. I want to thank you all for being such an encouragement to me. It’s such a big plan and we have such a small part, but oh, to see His glory and be able to bring just some glory to His Name. What a privilege!
It will be Shabat soon and I must prepare dinner. My husband, who is VERY weary, just made reservations to hopefully go to California and meet our new Granddaughter and to be with all of our Grandchildren and children from 23 April to 12 May. He has not been feeling well and we hope he will be able to go. Thank you for your prayers for him and for all of our family as they are brought to mind.
God bless and strengthen each of you in Him.
your sis J