I’m sitting in an apartment in Amman Jordan at 11:00 at night, a stuffed-up-sneezy-coughy-achy-in-my-chest-I-want-to-be-home-cranky-pants. I’m on information overload, and if it’s possible for an extrovert, I’m peopled out. I can’t take one more new foreign name or story or one more explanation of why this people group hates that people group. I am feeling like the worst missionary ever.
And I’m wondering…did Paul ever feel like this?
Of course he did! (And he didn’t have running water. Not to mention a few stonings and a shipwreck or two)
I’m thinking if Paul was in my place he would be reminding himself of what he wrote to the Philippians. “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
And if he was me, one of the people who would come to mind would be Daoud, a Palestinian Christian whose family has owned the land on top of this hill for generations.
Fortunately he has the deeds to prove it. Israelis have taken the land on all the hills surrounding him and have made five settlements there, doing everything they can to squeeze him out. Pulling up his olive trees, putting boulders across his road…
And I’m sure Daoud struggles with the injustice, but instead of asking “Why?” he asks “How?”
How would Jesus have me respond?
And this is his answer.
They refuse to be enemies. They will welcome anyone. They will abide by the law. They will pray for peace.
Whatever is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy…think about these things.