Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Picasso's "Dove of Peace"

I have been working on this post since I finished reading an amazing autobiography a couple of weeks ago by Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian priest working for peace in Israel. But it has been on hold because I have had a hard time summarizing the complex issues of the Israel Palestine conflict. I still haven’t figured out how to do that but in light of the recent shootings in Seattle over the past week, I felt the time was right to write about peace.... Also the quote in an inspirational book I read each morning was "Go in peace" from Abraham Lincoln today, so it confirmed that the timing was right.

This post isn't intended to be a political or religious discussion or a book review, but if you'd like to read a terrific and relatively short review of the book, I recommend this one. Moreover, I recommend ordering yourself a copy from Amazon and reading the whole book! 

Our recent trip to Jordan and Israel was life-changing for me. I didn’t realize it when I was there but it has had a deep and lasting impact on me and my views of the issues and people of the Middle East. The only way I can sum it up is that the experience opened my mind and my heart to this part of the world. Now I am interested in learning as much as I can about it. So when one of Sofia’s preschool teachers offered to let me borrow Blood Brothers, about a Palestinian family that had been exiled from their home I gladly accepted and I devoured the book. Now that I have visited Israel I can imagine what some of the places in the book look and feel like. Like our trip, it stirred many emotions in me. What amazed me most about the author and main character, Elias Chacour, is his unconditional love of his Israeli blood brothers and his sense of hope for people of the Middle East.

Elias has dedicated his life to promoting peace and understanding between Israelis and Arabs. It was a fascinating, sad, inspiring, educational book... I learned a lot and am eager to continue learning more.

Picasso's "Dance of the Youth" communicates peace, love and hope.

I certainly don’t have the answers to what’s going on in Seattle and the Middle East but I do know that educating ourselves about the issues and the solutions is a good first step. As I said, our trip really opened my heart and my mind and I am exploring the issues through books like this, discussions with friends, groups of peacemakers working on these issues locally and globally, and educating people about the lovely, peaceful people we met and places we visited through my blog.

In times like this when our lovely, “peaceful” city is mourning the loss of so many lives, I feel that the lessons of unconditional love and hope that Elias so beautifully exhibited are what will carry us through.

Peace be with you.


  1. fabulous post friend... if we all took the time to stop, listen more, be gentle caring loving to all around us... the world would surely be a better place.
    and with friends like you... it helps so much .. love you amy... God bless you for making us all think on this a bit more...

  2. Your writing gives me goose-bumps. Thank you for using your gifts of connecting words to enlighten those around you, and lifting up important issues about the life and strife of others in the world.

    1. Thank you, Erin, for opening my eyes and exposing me to these issues. Can't wait to visit Jordan again with you guys. Safe travels home today. xoxo.

  3. I have received so many wonderful messages from friends in response to this post. I wrote it from my heart and I am so glad it touched so many people. Thanks for reading!