This is BIG.
I don't read... ever. Nor do I ever get into a book to the point where I can't put it down. The tables turned completely last night. I, of course, procrastinated in my reading for a class. I had every intention of just finishing the book I was supposed to read with a good skim. However, before I knew it, it was 1:30 in the morning and I had read about 4 chapters from the end, and had fallen asleep doing so. What in the world?! I came straight home today from class through lunch to finish it. So, what was this wonderful book? Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour.
As lots of you know, I went to Israel over my spring break this past year. While we were there, we had the true privilege of meeting with Archbishop Chacour. His speaking was mesmerizing, and his book was just as engaging. My trip gave me a new insight into the political and religious turmoil Israel has been battling, but reading this book completely changed the way I viewed all parties involved in the Israeli conflict. While hearing a side to the story, completely unheard by the West, I also learned about a man who has lived out his message of peace. He united communities. He has such rich faith, his heritage being so closely tied to the land of Israel. And although he has every reason to be so angry with other parties, he doesn't want one to be pro-Palestenian if that means being anti-Jew or anti-Muslim. His hope of peace reaches across any religious barricades that have been built up.
And yet, as I was learning about religious tensions, efforts for peace, and a truly inspiring man, I saw pieces of encouragement and even some images of myself. There were several passages that gave me chill bumps, but one specifically was just like holding a mirror to myself. Chacour was in seminary and had become great friends with a classmate. His friend painted up this wonderful picture of life after school. They could go to their first call together, living peacefully, and continue the experience they had had throughout school. Chacour writes, "He talked for some time, building a bright dream. It touched my deepest wound--the need for a home, a sense of place. It sounded so comforting, so easy. When he finished, I found myself agreeing to his plan, eagerly trying to fill my emptiness with someone else's dream." That about sums up my experience thus far trying to figure out what I will be doing after I graduate. The past 3 years have been spent, searching certainly, but I have been relying heavily on other people's ideas and input, even other people's plans. I have been wanting so badly just to have a plan, to know where I will go and who I will be with. What I do know without a shadow of a doubt is that God has wonderful things planned for me. I feel that I am growing to see more and more of what those plans are. Ultimately, all I can do is pray and have faith. If I pray for God to use me in amazing and wonderful ways, I know that God will.
And that, my friends, is what I got out of Blood Brothers. Anyone else interested in a good read?