Tag Archives: Jews


arbeitmachtfreiIn the our society we are split in many camps. People who believe that the Holocaust happened. People who think it is an elaborate conspiracy theory. People who believe Jews deserved what they got – after all they are just money grubbing, Christ-killers. People who believe that it happened, but could never happen again. People who are silent because it makes them uncomfortable. People who pray but not much faith in their own petitions.

I’m not sure when I became so fascinated…..(the connotation of the word “fascinated” seems inappropriate……..perhaps “compelled” is a better choice}…….when I became so compelled to devour everything associated with these – basically – 12 (interesting number Biblically) years of German history: 1933-1945. Was it the soldier stories I inadvertently heard while I was supposed to be sleeping during late night parties? The teacher/preacher who had been a POW in GermanY? The Bible stories that mentioned the word “Jew” over and over? The diary of a young girl who did not live through her brief time in a concentration camp? The nightmares that haunted my dreams with a siren sound echoing over and over? Which ever it was – it started me on a journey that has never stopped.  I’m still compelled.

Since I’m no longer teaching a Holocaust unit, I had forgotten that this was the never againweek of Holocaust Remembrance. However, my subconscious (Or what I truly believe is the work of the Holy Spirit), kept me on schedule. Today, I realized that all week my devotions have been leading me to this particular place of remembrance, and I “hafsakah” (paused) before Jehovah Sabboth.

How many prayers did they offer during this persecution? How many lost their faith totally? How many tears fell upon the earth as their eyes beheld the evil in front of them? How many remained silent in the face of the evil that looked upon them with it’s terrifying, yellow eyes?

They were people like us. Elie Wiesel expresses it well in his first book, NIGHT – when his father brushed off the wearing of a yellow star on their clothes saying that they wouldn’t die of it. Elie replies from his grown-up vantage point, “Of what then did we die, Father?” People who went along because it wasn’t too bad at the beginning, People who were too wrapped up in lives to notice. People who hid their heads under their Yellowed-stared coats and hoped it would pass quickly. People like us.

As I pray my own prayers tonight, I think about those prayers they must have offered. Prayers that their homes would be safe. Prayers that it wouldn’t be as bad as they had begun to suspect. The Prayers of Psalms that they repeated in the darkness of a crowded cattle car swarming with smells and acts that paralyzed their vocal chords. Prayers for those missing or separated from them as German soldiers pointed their guns and yelled, “Snell, snell”. Jewish prayers for the dead…Kaddish.

Tonight one of my friends shared a Josh Groban recording of one of my favorite broadway songs that is in the form of a prayer. A prayer that is still echoing around the world today. A prayer that – perhaps tonight- Christ sings on our behalf….”God on high hear my prayer
in my need you have always been there….
he is young
he’s afraid
let him rest
heaven blessed
bring him home…….”

[google images]


Remain Calm

Yesterday, when I was putting thoughts to paper, I used a quote from one of my favorite movies.  In fact, I used this movie in the classroom every year.  The boys would groan (at first); the girls would fall in love with Jack; and Disney would profit because most of them ran out to buy the movie so they could watch it again.  Tonight was a Newsies type of night.

Davie:  “Alright — everyone remain calm.”  

I watch the news, and I can hear Davie’s words in my head.  I wish I could follow his advice, but my heart hurts.  My friend sends me an e-mail that he got from one of his friends in Iraq asking for prayer.  The UN has fled the area.  ISIS is just outside the gates, but the Christian Relief group is staying – trying to comfort the fearful and encourage their faith in this desperate time.   Jews in France being attacked, threatened and a few…killed.  People of all faiths in Ukraine are fleeing.  Jews in Israel being told the missiles are pointing toward Tel Aviv once again.  I guess that means the cease fire will be over tomorrow.  Evil is a foot – big time.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deut 31:6

We tend to shy away from that ancient term:  evil.  Even the church doesn’t mention it much anymore.  You can feel the uneasiness swirl around you if you happen to say it aloud.   evil.  The Bible mentions it often, but these days…it offends us.  It isn’t logical the knowledgeable argue.  Bad things happen, but that is because of up-bringing, societal pressures, environment, abuse……  You’ve heard them all, I’m sure.  An educated laugh and the joke is on us.   Like the sheep we are, we have fallen into line silently behind them.  Avoiding the messiness of debate that might hurt someone’s feelings; enjoying the quiet of our neighborhood where sirens don’t pierce our evening meal; the easy routines not being interrupted by a terrible sword slicing them to shreds; reading, T.V. shows, a night at the bar, playing our games on the computer, tomorrow’s lesson plans, cuddling our children, facebooking, twittering…

“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”  Jude 1:4 

Did you ever notice and wonder about the little things?  ISIS is spelled the same name as the Egyptian goddess from Roman times.  Russia is no longer a sleeping bear.  China is being awfully quiet.  The second blood moon is coming soon (Oct 8th) on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (the harvest festival…hmmmm…). Prayer is making a resurgence into our vocabulary.  Miracle stories are being recounted over and over by the people under attack.

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Lk 18:7-8 

Tonight as I kneel by my bed, I think my prayers will be tossing and turning like the waves of that Galilean sea that our LORD walked across so long ago.  I will pray for my husband, my children and grandchildren; my extended family of relatives and students; those grieving; a baby being born; a brave soul enduring yet another surgery in the battle with a super bug infection; my troubled nation, my brothers and sisters in Christ/the Jewish nation at large, and finally, I will ruminate on that last sentence in Luke:  “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  Then I will lie down and sleep because: “I know that my redeemer liveth.”  Job 19:25

Hopefully, when Christ does return, He will find faith upon the earth.  It is my prayer that He will find it in me and others who are stumbling along this same path.  My life has been blessed with music from the day I was conceived and could listen to my mom and dad sing to me (mom used to say they sang to me even before I was born).  It is where I turn when my mind is troubled, and I need comfort.  Newsies or The Messiah or lullabies sung by the angels around me; I am singing my prayers tonight for His mercy and grace, and hope that your songs will add harmony to mine.

Lenten Journey/Journey of the Cross #33

joy-comes-with-the-morningGrandma Mickey cake is sitting in the kitchen waiting for the the final frosting to be made tomorrow morning. Ribs are coated and ready to go into the oven within the hour for a long slow cooking marathon. If I was really dedicated, I would have made Grandma Mac noodles…but I’m not that motivated today.  I caught a whisper of the Grands’ colds, so I spent most of the morning sleeping, and the rest of the day not eating until I ate some yogurt and fruit a few minutes ago. The blessing is that Easter is almost here.

I always wonder what the disciples and Mother Mary did on Saturday. It was the Sabbath, so they would not have done much. A quiet day for many thoughts – many fears – many doubts. Did they have faith in the prophecy then, or did they just curl into themselves in sadness and despair? We’ve all been there. We’ve all curled up in a ball at one time or another. They saw the sky grow dark. The earth shake. The curtains ripped from top to bottom. Did they seek affirmation from Our Father? Among themselves? Did they walk back to the tomb? Whatever they did – I’m sure the day passed at at a crawl for all of them.

Tomorrow, the eyes of the world will open to a new day. The Son, indeed, did rise from “the heart of the earth”. The cup has been emptied and a new covenant is established for the Jews and gentiles alike. Joy does come in the morning.

“For His anger endures but for a moment; in His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Ps 30:5