“How Gaza’s Christians View the Hamas-Israeli Conflict” – With much of the American Christian voice calling for a unanimous, no-questions-asked support of Israel, this is an important perspective to consider and remember. (Christianity Today also plans to do a similar piece representing Israeli Christians, as well.)
“Timothy C. Morgan, senior editor, global journalism, and journalist Deann Alford interviewed Massad recently by phone and email as the conflict continued. CT is pursuing a similar interview from the perspective of Christians inside Israel on the latest conflict.
What are Christians inside Gaza telling you?
I was happy to hear about the ceasefire. This morning the news was that, unfortunately, the fighting has continued. Several times daily I communicate with Gaza by phone or Skype. Water supplies are very low in Gaza. There’s little or no electricity. I’ve spoken with my Muslim neighbors and Christians. All are waiting and anxious about what will happen next.”
“Are Gazans being sheltered in churches?
Gaza Baptist Church hasn’t been damaged, but it’s next door to Gaza’s main police station, which is a target. The bombs have made it too dangerous for Baptist church members to meet. But thousands of Muslims have found refuge in other churches that have opened their doors to refugees. My neighbor called to ask if he and his family could move into my family home in Gaza. Now there’s almost 100 people living in my house. People throughout Gaza are taking care of each other. “
“What do you say to American Christians who support Israel?
As Christians in Palestine, we love the Jewish people. When the Lord changed our hearts, he gave us love for all people. I hope my brothers and sisters in the West also have enough room in their hearts not just for Israel but also for the Palestinians.
See the other side of the coin. In 1948, the state of Israel was founded, and more than 700,000 Palestinians became refugees, and 50,000 to 55,000 of them were Christian. They scattered around the world, some to Gaza and the West Bank. They went to Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Many still live in very difficult circumstances.
Sometimes my brothers in the West say, “This land is promised to the Jewish people; get over it.” But I would say, what would you do for the people who lost their homes and land in 1948? We have official documents to prove our ownership of the 17 acres my father’s family lost. If we talk about a God of justice and love, how to explain this to the Palestinians who lost their homes and land to Israel?
Amos 5:24 says, “But let justice roll down like river and righteousness like a never-failing stream.” And Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord required of you to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
How should you extend this love to these Palestinians Muslims and Christians who lost their land? You cannot just say that God gave the land to the Jewish people. To love the Palestinians, you must understand their struggle. I see people go too far to support the Jewish people; others go too far to support the Palestinians.
Extend love not just to one side, but to both.
What I say to the church in West is this: There are churches and believers on both sides. Let us focus on the Kingdom of God among the Palestinians and the Kingdom of God among Jewish believers. All of us Christians in the East and the West belong to one body: the body of Christ. Bless the body of Christ in this region.”
“Stop Calling It Morning Sickness” – This is not a perfect article, it doesn’t really examine the full spectrum between what is commonly termed “morning sickness” and hyperemesis gravidarum, and I’m sure some will be turned away by the tone of the article. But at the same time, it does address ways we often perpetuate the hurt as women face difficult pregnancies, and the article also shares ways to help women in the throes of this challenge. Moreover, the article helpfully addresses what many often overlook as a consequence, especially for women who are without family help nearby and have other children to care for: the psychological effects of pregnancy sickness. This being the case for myself, I can only assume these factors have been contributors in a heightened sense of working through antenatal depression this time around.
“The trouble with morning sickness is that it’s usually treated one of two ways: as a trivial (even amusing) rite of pregnancy passage, or as the potentially life-threatening condition hyperemesis gravidarum, which can land women in the hospital for dehydration (as was the case with Kate Middleton).
In between those two extremes lies the wide, debilitating land of nausea and vomiting that’s often part of pregnancy. And that is where I spent many, many miserable months when I was pregnant with my two sons.
Now pregnant with my third child, I am just beginning to see the light at the end of the porcelain-enameled tunnel, and I realize that it’s time for us to speak honestly about what this condition really feels like.”
“The best way I can describe the feeling to someone who has never experienced nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is that it’s like having food poisoning all the time for months on end. Each day — foggy, repulsed by every smell and taste, unable to walk without crippling dizziness and nausea — I wondered how I would make it through.
It rendered me nearly incapable of having a conversation, let alone caring for my 4-year-old and 18-month-old sons. Bedtime stories went out the window and, with them, anything beyond procedural parenting. Even feeding, bathing and taking my eldest to school felt impossible. I disappeared mentally and emotionally from my husband, my children, my friends and my colleagues. I did the absolute minimum just to get through the day.”
“As a trained psychotherapist, I know the damage that physical illness can wreak on mental health. And, as the founder of a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women’s mental health during their reproductive years, I am shocked that there is not a more honest discussion of how debilitating nausea during pregnancy can be.
Believe me, I was brought up in England where you’re taught to “get on with it.” And to a large degree I was getting on with it, or at least trying to. I don’t want anyone to throw me a pity party. I know how lucky I am to be pregnant, nausea and all.
But I began to wonder how other women were coping. Were they coping? Or was unending nausea the trigger for depression or other mood disorders? Shockingly, there is almost no research, not only on more effective treatments for nausea during pregnancy, but also on its effect on a woman’s mental health.”
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” ~C.S. Lewis