May All the Children
Tara Meyer Dull, Faith in Action
October 17, 2023
How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings... - Matthew 23:37
MAY ALL THE CHILDREN
May all the children of Israel and Palestine wake to birdsong, not bulletfire.
May all the children of Israel and Palestine watch the sun rise over a horizon free from concrete walls and barbed wire.
May all the children of Israel and Palestine have the same access to clean drinking water, food, electricity, hospitals, schools, roads, airports, libraries, and playgrounds.
May all the children of Israel and Palestine live free from the generational trauma of violence, forced displacement, and family separation.
May all the children of Israel and Palestine look into their parents' eyes and see a softness that only comes from security and freedom.
May all the children of Israel and Palestine close their eyes at night, knowing the bed they fall asleep in will still be their bed in the morning. That the key to their home will always grant them entry.
May all the children of Israel and Palestine trust that the world is watching and listening. May they know that our boundless love breaks through borders and barriers.
May our love.
May all the children.
This was the prayer that came to me in the morning darkness, following a restless night this week. Having just returned from a trip to Palestine and Israel days before the Hamas attacks, I feel haunted and grief-stricken. We walked through the heavily armed streets around Bethlehem and talked with traumatized residents living in the Aida refugee camp; it was painfully clear that the situation was unsustainable and fraught with fear and bewilderment. Palestinian residents were desperate to tell us about their experience living under a violent military occupation, their history of forced displacement, blocked access to clean drinking water, education, healthcare, roads, airports, etc. They asked us to please share their stories when we returned to the United States.... And then Saturday's horrific and inhumane attack on Israel by Hamas. I grieve with the Jewish community and unequivocally condemn this atrocious act of terror against thousands of innocent lives. How to tell the stories now...?
We hold in our hearts all those suffering, all those yearning for peace and stability. As leaders engage in the painstaking discernment of how they will respond, we pray for a ceasefire, that decades of systemic injustice be addressed, and that they center their moral compass on the well-being of children, in both Israel and Palestine.