AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Practicing gratitude in the middle of it all


2 December 2014

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Practicing gratitude in the middle of it all 

by a Palestine CPTer

Around the world today, non-profits, NGOs, families,
businesses, community centers, and individuals around the world come together
for one common purpose. Christian Peacemaker Teams is here in Hebron in solidarity with local partners whose safety, homes and livelihoods are threatened by the Israeli military occupation. Will you contribute $55 today for #GivingTuesday? With just 365 people giving $55 each, we can cover the cost of one peacemaker in the field for a year. #BeTheChange

Just $55 supports a peacemaker in the field for a day. 

[Note: the following has been adapted for CPTnet.  The original is available on CPT
Palestine’s blog

Thousand-year-old olive tree overlooking the
city of Hebron.

In the U.S., the end of November means the celebration of
Thanksgiving.  Here in Hebron, we may sometimes ask:  For what can we possibly be thankful? We
see teargas lobbed at children regularly, men and boys detained daily, frequent
harassment of Palestinians.  Violence.

It is in places like Hebron where we must practice
gratitude, where we must not let the bad that we see eclipse the good—that,
against all odds—abounds.  For how
can we possibly harness and share goodness if we are unable even to recognize
it around us?

And so we, the current CPT Palestine team, offer the
following—the places and times where light breaks through darkness, where hope
conquers hopelessness, where love wins over hatred, fear, and apathy: 

  • I am grateful for the family and friendship that
    support us in every aspect of life.
  • I am grateful for my son and the beauty and
    promise of his life that waits him. 
    I see this not only in my son, but in all the young children around me.
  • I am grateful for the earth.  As I passed
    through a valley between Bethlehem and Hebron the other day, I saw the earth
    sing in rust-coloured grape vines and leafy green vegetables.  For several
    days, the sky has been laughing at us with rain showers, thwarting our plans
    with downpours and floods.  Gazing at thousand-year-old olive trees, I
    marvel at the way they can grow in dry and rocky places.  And I am
    reminded that the earth continues its steadfast resistance, slowly overtaking
    landscapes of fear.
  • I am grateful for the Palestinians who show me
    what perseverance, courage, patience, and hospitality look like.  I am grateful for teammates and friends
    near and far who show me how to live compassionately and how to embody humility
    by recognizing that our work is not our own, but the product of God working
    through us.  I hope that someday
    this team won’t be needed, but while it is, I am grateful for the many people
    who make it possible for me to here to share in this work.
  • I am grateful to feel that God is beside me.  If a door closes in my face, God opens
    another door for me.  I am glad
    that I am working with the team, that God opened that door for me Sometimes I
    smile and hope that everything will be good, so I carry that hope and don’t
    live in the circle where everything is bad.
  • I am grateful for the infinity of the sky to
    remind me of the expansiveness of God.

For these things and many more, we are
grateful.  We sincerely hope that
you, too, see beauty, notice experiences of grace, and find many reasons for
gratitude at any moment and wherever you may be.

you contribute $55 today
for #GivingTuesday? With just 365 people giving
$55 each, we can cover the cost of one peacemaker in the field for a year.

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