The View From in Here
Recently my eldest son has become fascinated with his Children’s Atlas. When not quizzing his siblings on the language spoken in Tunisia or the currency in Peru, he delights in considering his own location in the Middle East. Some things have surprised him.
“Mom!? How come Israel is smaller than Jordan?! How can it be smaller than Egypt?! What do you mean Israel is smaller than Syria?! How can that be?!”
So like a careful Mommy, I explained as best I could about how territory gets carved up into countries, and how borders can change because of wars. Apparently that was not his problem.
“But Mommy!” he insisted, “Israel is so little on the map! But when you’re here, it’s so big.”
How many times has our imagination been limited by the lines someone told us exist? What does it take for us to trust our own experiences? Because so many things look like impossibly small spaces from the outside.
The space where observant Jews and Bible-believing Christians can meet, looks like one of these. Tiny. Cramped. No room to turn around. But when you’re in it, you see that it’s as wide as your imagination. As wide as your dreams. As wide as your heart.
Come on in. There’s plenty of room.
And the view from in here is great.
by Faydra Shapiro (Nov 2009)
Director of Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations, Yezreel Valley College, Israel.