I’m writing this as my head is blocked up with the flu, sorry for any incoherent comments.
I felt such a burning passion to write because this place is changing me so much. Previous to living here, I cared about politics, but it didn’t take up a huge amount of my time, conversations or mental capacity. Now, living here in Jerusalem, I am changed. Without realising it, you live and breathe politics here. Even trying to find a real Christmas tree outlet on the Internet was a massive failure. The only thing we could find was articles about how Christmas trees have been banned by the Israelis. Really, I just want a Christmas tree, do we need to delve into politics over a Christmas tree!!
The way I read the Bible, the way I think of God’s people, the way I engage in everyday conversation with people has changed. I have changed. For the better, I don’t know. I used to be so chilled out about stuff, but 18mths in, the tension in this place has grabbed me, spun me, moulded me, broken me, challenged me. Even when you come back from a relaxing holiday, the tension in this place grabs you like a dark cloud hovering over you, and perhaps within you. Living in this place makes me glad that I believe in a God of hope, a God of love. Without this hope, living here would be even harder. This place certainly draws you to your knees daily.
It’s halfway into our posting, and we are now confronted with the question of extend our stay for an extra year or so, or finish up in 18mths. I do love this place, but I’m not sure how much longer I can let the tension bubble up inside me. Nor, I don’t know how much longer I can take my kids being bullied by bored youth at parks. I’m not sure I want my kids to grow up with this level of aggression around them. It can’t be good. On the other hand, I don’t want to leave my friends I have met here, and perhaps God needs believers to live here, to rise above this tension and pray for this place everyday. Perhaps that is the reason we are here.