Preparing for the Journey

Author Caryl Westerberg
Author Caryl Westerberg

The following poem was written by Caryl Westerberg as she prepared for the Mosaic of Peace Conference of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program during which more than 100 Presbyterians traveled to Israel/Palestine to listen people – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim; Israeli and Palestinian – involved in the work of peace and justice. As the 221st General Assembly has set aside an entire committee devoted to “Middle East Issues”, Unbound will be featuring submissions and reflections from several participants in the Mosaic of Peace Conference as we prepare to faithfully discern at the General Assembly.

“Preparing for the Journey”

As I prepare for our journey,
I read, I watch, and I listen
to what seem like impossible, intractable situations.
With every side having their desires, their needs, their justifications.
I then look to my own life with its impossible, intractable situations,

Yet, in the midst of all this strife and chaos,
I find hope.
I find hope in the teachings of the Palestinian theologians,
those that believe in the resurrected Christ.
In the wake of death and destruction,
It is the resurrected Christ who symbolizes renewal and hope.

I find inspiration from this theology of hope
as I remember that with God,
all things are possible; miracles can happen.
And I believe there can be a solution
to these seemingly impossible, intractable situations.

With that knowledge, I’m strengthened;
I have hope in the face of strife and chaos.
I can work towards a solution; I can expect miracles.
I can go on my journey.

*****

AUTHOR BIO: A wife and mother of two, Caryl Westerberg develops websites for Stanford University. As a member of the Stone Church of Willow Glen, she is grateful to have participated in the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s Mosaic of Peace conference in Palestine and Israel. 

Click here to read the items of business concerning the Middle East coming before the General Assembly this summer.

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