Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
“Bear not a single care thyself,
One is too much for thee;
The work is Mine, and Mine alone;
Thy work-to rest in Me”
(From Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret)
Greetings DEAREST sisters and brothers. I have missed you. I greet you in The Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ, Lord and Messiah in Whom we are one. May He be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and encouraged. This comes with much love.
Mounted on the floor near the doors of our trains, there are central holding-on areas with space for 4 people (although there are usually around 8 or so hanging on at any given time) to a sort of handled pole. I found myself as the 4th in a group of ladies even older then I am on one afternoon. They didn’t seem to know one another to begin with, but as it is with us, every stranger is only a new friend waiting to happen.
Apparently I boarded the train very soon after the conversation had started. Two of the women were dati (religious as identified by their clothing) and the third, in a pants outfit, was not. It is such a blessing to be able to understand Hebrew for these precious conversations would pass me by otherwise.
This group was talking about life in Jerusalem during the war of the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967, when Jerusalem’s Jews were cut off from food and water supplies by the surrounding Arab countries that were fighting with Jordan against us. They were talking about having many children and how it is a blessing, but not always an easy one to accept.
“I remember that my neighbor had twins and everyone was so happy but she wept and said, ‘How will I feed two more mouths?'”
One woman said, “Ah,” and another sighed.
“But then we would find a woman who was longing for a child and give THEM the blessing. We knew they would be loved. We had too many and some one else had too few.”
The others nodded, remembering.
“Yes. And when there was no water and the thirst was overwhelming, some of us didn’t have milk, but others did, so we fed one another’s children.”
Again they nodded. A woman got on the train with a stroller and we all looked over and smiled.
“Yes, that is how we did it back then. We just filled the need. Some with too many, some with not enough…the needs were met. Yes. Children are a blessing.”
They all nodded again, each with a sad smile, a smile of knowing and having walked a long hard path.
The two religious women got off the train and said their goodbye’s while the secular lady and I began to talk, not saying much really. It was one of those moments when a trickle of history dropped into my heart.
Another frozen moment in time posed before my eyes several days ago, also on the train. Crowded trains bring lots of different sized people into close contact. So it was as a young mother with a little boy perhaps nearly two years old, found themselves pressed against a strikingly handsome soldier, his Uzi machine gun slung over his shoulder, pointed down as he read things on his smart phone.
This time it was 4 of us older ones sitting in the seats and watching as the little guy stared up at the soldier in wonder and let his eyes slip down over the Uzi. He tentatively reached up one tiny finger and ran it along the gun barrel, again looking up at the soldier who was engrossed in his phone. We all stared at this unfolding scene and at the young mother who wasn’t quite sure what her response should be.
The little one’s adoring stare finally broke the soldier’s concentration and his handsome face embraced the little guy with a big gentle smile. Down the finger went and up again, all the while staring at the soldier while patting the weapon. We all sat chilled and warmed alternately by the sad irony of the scene and also the pathos of it. The baby, so open and simple, the soldier so handsome, strong and also open-faced, the mother, young and loving and the 4 of us older crows, weighing the picture in front of us.
To my left the man said to the little boy, “Just wait. It won’t be too long. You too will have one before you know it!”
Immediately, the woman on my right piped, “Halavai!! Oo lai, lo! (or I hope not…how sad! What a shame.) Oh that it would be that he will never need to see one and that there will be no more war!”
Another sighed and added, “Ha! And we all wish, but his time will also come.”
The young mother looked around and so did I. Each one in this tiny play sat with some pretty deep thoughts, fears and memories. The little guy, tiny, and innocent, looked up again at the soldier and the soldier saluted him and left the train for his post. This group also scattered, but not without an imprint in my heart.
Again, I am only a translator in the gap for those of you who don’t know Hebrew and may not find yourself on the Jerusalem trains. These small vignettes are for me true tastes of life here, small windows through which I am able to catch a glimpse of the past.
The older I get, the more I wonder about life. What a gift we have been given. Whether we are blessed with material blessings or health or natural talents or NONE of these, it doesn’t so much matter as what we DO with what we HAVE been given. The more I observe and listen to those around me the more I see how important my moment by moment choices are in our daily walk with Him. Each choice really IS crucial on all levels. We dare not make them alone. How good He has been to us to give us His Holy Spirit!
Some of you know it’s generally crisis to crisis here and the current news is no different. Today is the beginning of week-long home front command tests, simulating attacks on 3 fronts, from land, sea and air, with the entire country participating. “Readiness drills” – they are called. The group called ISIS is camped on all of our borders, with known cells already within. Since Israel is the chief prize, the “pot of gold,” we are not surprised.
Our poor fledgling government is being attacked from within and without as leaders from more countries then most people can name are waiting in line to make their stands known to our leaders. The economy? Oy! We are engraved IN STONE as a stiff-necked people who grumble. If you have any doubt, read the Old Testament. That’s why I had to laugh at our sizzling sha’rav heat wave that blew in off of the Sahara desert causing temperatures to soar into the high 40s Celsius (100s Fahrenheit).
As is often stated in other countries, “It isn’t so much the temperature, but the HUMIDITY,” was true here, but in a different way. Our humidity was below 2% meaning that deadly dehydration became a serious threat to those walking around in the sun.
“OH THE HEAT! THIS IS AWFUL!” exclaimed one patient walking through the door of the doctor’s office where I work. Suddenly I burst out laughing.
“I think that God sends us sha’ravs and blizzards just so we will give Him a rest from all of our other complaints and just focus them all on the weather.”
It really tickled my funny bone.
So as I was riding home on the bus I caught my breath as I saw that since 6:30 a.m. when I went to work, all of the flowering trees had broken open into their full glory of color. It is truly a canvas fit for The King: the array of huge purple flowering trees, blues, bright reds and yellows.
I realized that the intense HEAT had accomplished this in one morning. Whereas my little plants on my merepeset (balcony) were withering, but the trees, with their roots running deep, prospered.
Was there a lesson here? Oh yes. When He turns the heat on, we find out whether our roots run deep and drink from The Rock or whether our little flowers are in shallow earth. Anyway, for me it was a beautiful visual aid to think about the kingdom of God and to remember His ways.
I began this email with a quote from Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, a book that has greatly blessed me over the years and that I am again re-reading. Being reminded that He OWNS us is such a relief to me: under the ownership of One so faithful…He is fully able to complete that which He has begun.
your sister J
2 responses to “Inside Israel”
Oh , this one really ministered to me! Loved how the flowering trees all bloomed in the extreme heat. And the reminder that it is what we do with what we are given! Thank you, Mr. Larry! God bless!
I always enjoy the side stories she uses from everyday life, like sharing milk with a hungry baby. That’s not a story that I would have considered. God bless you.