Reflections on Holy Week: Then and Now

Posted April 17, 2014 by sheadley
Categories: Faith

I admired that about you
That you would stand
In truth-Trusting that all would be as He intended
You recognized the need and your call
You followed your heart and our Father’s voice

To speak truth
To be love, to represent truth, to act in love
Regardless of the consequence
Oh! the mystery of it, and the certainty of it

Grace under fire, grace in the moment, in the pain
Amidst the pain and the hate, the insistent hate and ignorance

Where I sought convenience
You showed the way
Acceptance,
Sorrow,
Joy
Then and now

Secure within the Secureness of our Security?

Posted February 21, 2014 by sheadley
Categories: Faith, Travel

Heading home…

Psalm 35: 4-5
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.

The driver took the back roads, moving through the countryside at a pretty good clip. We passed at least three settlements. In the darkness, the settlements looked like military installations, with their bright spotlights shining on the tall chain link fences, topped with barbed wire. While traveling in the West Bank, the major highways may not be the best choice. My passport, safely resting within my front pocket, providing me with a sense of security that my driver could not have.

Arriving at the airport, we parted ways. I paid my guide, my friend and thanked him for the ride. He gave me a refrigerator magnet of a Christian icon. I moved closer to home in the lobby of Ben Gurion Airport. The security agent was professional and courteous. The questioning went on for quite some time. She would ask a question, walk away (I assumed to confer with a superior), and then come back to ask more questions. Ultimately, she thanked me for my patience and passed me through from her station to the next, the XRay machine. The XRay technician passed me on to a hand-search area. At this counter, the agent asked me a few questions and chose not to open my bag. I did see a number of other bags being searched carefully. Again, this agent was professional and courteous, and even gave me a smile and a “Have a safe journey” after he was done with his questioning.

On and on, through Tel Aviv, through Newark, through Seattle. Through scanners and questions and bag checks and XRays, through bag checks and ticket checks and credential checks.  Through, “take off your shoes, your belt, your jacket”.  Through security…

Security: the state of being protected or safe from harm (Merriam Webster). Security is becoming more sophisticated and comprehensive. The opportunity and means to threaten security is also becoming more pervasive and sophisticated. A glance at a newspaper, news website or a popular magazine reveals a number of types of security:

  • Homeland Security
  • Food Security
  • Social Security
  • National Security
  • Financial Security
  • Data Security
  • School Security
  • Emotional Security
  • Job Security

Can we have security, is it our ultimate need and desire? Perhaps . If so, I need to work on accepting and trusting the Creator of the universe.  Situations are not in my control, people are not in my control.  Whom I choose to trust is.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35,37 NIV

Meeting with Friends

Posted February 16, 2014 by sheadley
Categories: Community, Faith, Friends

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In a few hours, Friends at North Valley will have their worship time.  Following worship will be the annual chili cookoff.  Sadly, I will miss the event this year.  I enjoy making chili and I do enjoy entering a new chili into the competition each year.  I also enjoy sampling the various chili dishes that others bring! I am sure that many will join in and have a great time of food and fellowship.

Today, I had the opportunity to worship with Friends at the Ramallah Monthly Meeting.  This meeting had about 15 people in attendance.  Friends from Palestine, Germany, USA, England and Sweden gathered in the meeting house that was built in 1910. 2014-02-12 04.50.51After the meeting, we had a time of fellowship in the annex, where tea was served and  lively conversation ensued.  I went to do a little shopping and then met up with Jean Zaru, the clerk of the meeting, and about 10 Friends at the Nazareth Restaurant.  The menu was in Arabic so Jean helped us order.  The falafel was great, as was the entire meal! Jean shared with me about the history of the meeting and of the Friends School in Ramallah.  I enjoyed visiting with the others gathered around the tables, including a German fellow who was working on a project to introduce animation as a teaching and learning device into Palestinian schools.

The meeting for worship was unprogrammed, with the clerk giving a brief introductory comment and greeting.  We sang two songs during the meeting, one was a hymn from the mid 1800s and the other was Song of Peace, to a Sibelius tune, Finlandia. The sense of the meeting, and confirmed through vocal ministry was that the love of Christ is manifest as people step out to represent hope, justice and peace to their world.  What a blessing to be a part of this time of worship.

I will be leaving soon to begin my long journey home.  I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends.  I am also looking forward to learning more about what is next for me in my journey along the path.  I am grateful to have had this time to serve with Friends in Africa and in the Middle East.  I am grateful for all that I have learned and for what has been given to me.  I have been welcomed as an honored guest and I accept that welcome with appreciation and joy!