HEBRON: Out of the depths

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CPTnet

December 6, 2001

HEBRON: Out of the Depths. Ramadan Reflection #6

By Claire Evans

[During the month of Ramadan, November 16-December 15, members of CPT

Hebron will be fasting from sunup to sundown along with their Muslim

neighbors. The team will post periodic reflections during this time.]

On Sunday, December 2, the 17th day of Ramadan, the First Sunday in Advent,

our team woke to news that there had been two suicide bomb attacks and a car

bomb in West Jerusalem overnight, killing 10 Israelis. Before the day was

done, a bomb on a bus in Haifa had killed thirteen more.

On Monday evening, my teammate Mary Lawrence and I broke our daily fast with

Palestinian friends in Hebron’s Old City. Our hearts were lifted as the

couple’s seven children greeted us joyfully, the little girls pulling us by

the hand, inviting us to come in.

As we finished feasting on chicken and rice, stuffed vegetables, tomato and

cucumber salad, and sweets, the father turned on the TV. More bad news:

Several Israeli missiles had hit

targets in Gaza.

On Tuesday, we CPTers did morning patrols on the streets of

Hebron. Everyone we talked to agreed: it was bad news, very bad news

indeed. By then we’d heard that the Israeli military had fired more

missiles on Ramallah and Gaza, and had re-entered four West Bank cities.

Yesterday, Wednesday, CPT Hebron vigiled for peace on the street corner by

our apartment. We hung two signs saying, “Praying for the peace of the

cities,” (cf. Ps. 122:6.) One sign faced the market where Palestinian

shopkeepers sell chickens and produce, and one faced Shuhada Street,

frequented mostly by Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers. In front of each

sign, between rolls of barbed concertina wire and cement blocks set by the

army to prevent access to the market, my team-mates and I sat and prayed for

an hour.

As a cold rain fell, I meditated on the words of Psalm

130: “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” What do I know of

the depths of the sorrow, of the fear, of the darkness of an uncertain

future faced by the people here? Those who lost sons or daughters in

Sunday’s or Tuesday’s attacks, or the parents on both sides trying to

envision a future for their children, know the depths, the darkness, the

living within the black cloud of this warfare.

“Lord, hear the voice of our supplications!” Hear the cries of all your

children, all the sons and daughters of Abraham: Muslims, Jews, Christians

who inhabit this land!

“O Lord, if you marked iniquities, who could stand?” No one could stand! No

one is blameless! The time has past for assigning blame. God’s forgiveness

is our only hope. How else shall we heal? How else can all the people of

this land live in peace? Forgiveness is too much to ask of people who have

lost their sons and daughters, their brothers, their future. In God alone

is the hope.

“I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch

for the morning.” The morning surely will come. Will the Lord come as

surely? Will God’s peace ever reign?

Today, Thursday, the 21st day of Ramadan, the 5th day of Advent: It seems

right to meditate on the Ramadan theme of our dependence on God, and on the

Advent theme of hope. This afternoon, my team-mates and I will again vigil

on our street corner, praying for the peace of the cities.

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