From the Shards...
Posted on February 2, 2016

I had a wonderful experience yesterday, thanks to the January series from Calvin College that Marble has been able to shares. The noontime speaker was Dr. Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor from Bethlehem. As he humorously put it, “Bethlehem in Palestine, not Pennsylvania.”

When he was in his final year of medical studies, Dr. Raheb felt a call to the ministry which he followed to become the pastor of Bethlehem’s Lutheran Christmas Church. Putting politics aside for the moment, in that perilous place, I’d like to concentrate on just one thing he said that applies to all of us.

After days of shelling during the intifada of 2001, his community center was destroyed and much of Bethlehem was rubble, the streets filled with broken glass. It had to be a devastating moment since his church had just finished renovating their center which was being used for community art projects, among other things. So what did he do?

He sent his young people out to gather up the shards of glass. They turned them into angels and butterflies , ornaments that they sold internationally to fund their rebuilding. Dr. Raheb did not linger on that project, but I have. What a lesson if we could each fashion beauty from brokenness , winged loveliness from the wretchedness of destruction.

In our own muddled world of verbal attack and counterattack, I have taken those ornaments to heart. What might I fashion today from what seems like hopelessness? Isn’t that the Christian message?


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