By: Rev. Nathan Allen, Clairemont Lutheran Church/ Iglesia Luterana Clairemont (San Diego, CA)
This has been a ministry of the ELCA for more than a decade now. People have been consistently working toward peace for many more years than that throughout Palestine and Israel, yet it seems that there is no progress made. In many ways it was emotionally devastating to witness the injustice and tragedy; there is a sense of helplessness in the face of problems that are much bigger than we can grasp.
I am reminded of the story of Job in the Old Testament. A righteous man before God, yet faced with terrible suffering, his children all killed, losing absolutely all of his wealth, and finally being covered with sores on his whole body to the point that he could find no comfort, no rest. Job felt that God was unjustly punishing him, while the interpretation of his three friends was that he must have done something evil in order to merit such wrath from God. Job felt tormented by God, tormented by his friends, even his wife told him just to curse God and die.
Through it all Job kept coming back to God, angry yes, confused and hurt, yes; but he kept returning to God expecting more, hoping for justice, calling out in frustration! Where are you God! Why would you do this to me! How could you let this happen! How could you let a 15 year old girl be shot by soldiers, how could people be forced into refugee camps for three generations, why do you let someone get to the point where a suicide bomb becomes an option, how could you let settlers steal land and resources, why don’t you do something about these boys and girls getting locked in prison, why Lord, why have you forsaken these people?