A New Foundation
Some weeks ago there was yet another mass shooting. Robert Bowers murdered 11 souls at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. He was then found and taken to the hospital. And as Robert was being wheeled into the emergency room, he yelled ‘death to all Jews’. The nurse caring for him felt those words painfully in his heart. The nurse knew the synagogue well, because his parents often worshiped there.
And so while deeply worried that his parents were two of the victims of this killer, nevertheless this Jewish nurse decided to care for this enemy, silently. And when the media asked why he hadn’t refused care because he was a Jew, he said ‘When I looked into his eyes, I didn’t see evil- I saw confusion and fear. I cared for this man, because I wanted him to feel compassion, to feel love, and I wanted him to feel it from a Jew.’
In Rev. 21 we hear that the New Jerusalem, our future earth, is built of precious stones. But what could be more precious than freely given love in the face of fear? What could be more foundational for a true humanity than a compassionate heart standing before his enemy?
Dear friends, just like the Jewish nurse, we, too, can create love in the growing anxiety and fear of our times. For every deed of compassion and love that comes to light in this darkness creates a precious stone, a spiritual stone that will become the firm foundation of a new earth.
You can find an Advent story for children here. A former blog post on celebrating Advent with children can be found here. And finally, click here for a description of how the Advent season is celebrated in the Christian Community.
This is very interesting. Yesterday, I had a salesman into my home to discuss the purchase of a new furnace for my house. As he was pitching the furnaces, he showed me a picture of his baby girl, and he had difficulty holding back his tears. Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of her death from meningitis. He repeatedly apologized for “unloading” his heart on me, a total stranger. I was comfortable in hearing about his daughter, how he and his wife held the dead child in their arms with love and grief, and explained to him that we are human, that apologies for being human are not necessary and if he needed to talk I would listen. I think that “love” comes in many guises, but the love that humans have for each stranger they meet is the true, unselfish, healing love. I’m no one special, just another person and it was such a privilege to be favoured with this man’s trust in a stranger.
Thank you, Jordan, for this. Lovely to hear from you, and most specially in such a positive way.