The first day of spring was marked last week and in Palestine, as well as many other places around the world, Mother’s Day was also celebrated. When I think of mothers, I think of the many women I have known in my lifetime who have been led to the truth and who have, in turn, guided me by their example of seeking, risking and trusting --as they live as children of God.
I am especially grateful for the women I came to know when I worked with the YWCA Palestine. Regular visits to projects in three different Palestinian refugee camps were a part of my responsibilities. I met with women whose homes had been demolished, who had no work or security and whose husbands, fathers or brothers were political prisoners, and I asked them: “How do you manage?”
They would almost always reply with declarations such as, “The God who created us will surely not forget us" and "Sometimes we even wake up in the morning to find food supplies on our doorstep.” Of all the stories shared one stands out and continues to touch my heart until this day. It was Easter and some young people wanted to share Easter eggs with their neighbors as an act of charity and kindness. Yet, every house they knocked on to offer the gift referred them to a family in greater need, for they said: “Thanks be to God, we are not starving.”
The faith of these women and their families challenged me and gave me hope --a hope that increased within me as I wove their stories in with mine. These experience re-orineted me to the message of Paul concerning faith, hope and love. I was also reminded in a deeper way of the assurance that Jesus offers in the book of Matthew. It is a promise, or more precisely an understanding, that God will feed us, as God feeds the birds and nourishes the flowers. We are not to be anxious. Jesus told us not to worry, but to seek first and find God’s kingdom and then align ourselves to its righteousness. Friends, we are invited to live as children of God by Trusting that the God who created us, will not forget us!
Query: How do the communities in which we live our lives, as imperfect as they might be, sustain us? How do they feed us? And how do we feed them? Do we experience the blessed assurance of living in deep connection, of trusting that our needs may be met before they are even spoken?