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Palestine and Israel- “Middle of Love”

I’ve been thinking about what fuels our prayers?  Is it selfish desire? Is it genuine love for God, for another, and humility? Does prayer bring us to our knees and a place of newness? Or do we come out the same way we went in- with a hard heart?

These two quotes from authors Mary Baker Eddy and Etgar Keret shed light on this question about genuine prayer as it relates to the conflict in the Middle East.

Eddy writes, “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty simply by asking that it may be done.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 9:5

Keret responds in a recent interview, “Well, you know, if you talk to everybody in Israel – the most militant extreme Sunni right-wing people or the most radical (unintelligible) leftists – they all would say to you that they really want peace, but the thing is that most of the people yearn for peace without giving anything in return. You know, it’s kind of a peace of earth kind of thing. You know, you pray to God to give you peace. But if you exchange this word for compromise – when you say you have to acknowledge the fact that it’s an agreement that you have to reach with somebody else and that it’s an agreement you have to pay something for. So I would want to differentiate between people who seek peace and people who seek compromise because a lot of the people here seek peace – don’t want to compromise. They want peace with God not with the Palestinians.”

I don’t live in the Middle East, but I can practice peace and compromise where I am.  Peace is possible when I am willing to give up the need to be right or win the argument.  Instead, I yield to God and to the love I know that is possible with my neighbor.  I can practice this in my home, with my family, in my church and neighborhood.  I offer this poem as a prayer for all.


Middle of Love

I’m in the middle of Love,

safe from beneath, around and above.

If I face a wall

or feel very small-

I will remember that I’m in the middle of Love.


I’m in the middle of Love,

Holy Spirit is lifting me like a dove.

I’m not too young and I’m not too old

I’m proof of God’s forever bold

here in the middle of Love.


And sometimes when I’m restless, angry, or low

I can take possession of my body to let fear know

there’s no enemy too great-

no mortal story of fate-

that can take me from the middle of Love.


We’re in the middle of Love.

We’re safe from beneath, around and above.

With God we ARE one.

Good cannot be undone.

Stay in the heart of Love.


Ginger Mack Emden



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