A beautiful day in a dangerous place …

My friend Lynne Hybels wrote this wonderful reflection on a recent trip to Palestine …

Often, experiences we dream of fail to match expectations. Sometimes they match, but just barely. On rare occasions, such as this day in the olive orchard, they far exceed our dreams.
Sunset comes early in the West Bank in November. Our afternoon tea break is barely finished before we have to gather the tarps and call it a day. As the women of the village walk us to the van that will take us back to Ramallah, and the children skip alongside, we wonder if we should have spent less time smiling and laughing and singing and dancing and eating and drinking, and more time picking. Would our time have been better spent? Would the olive harvest have been better honored?
If the measure of success is the number of olives that travel from branch to tarp, perhaps we could have been more effective. But what if the measure of success is the number of languages spoken between new friends? What if the measure of success is the level of camaraderie felt at the end of a day?
I walk arm in arm with one of my favorite companions from the day, an older woman who laughs lustily and shakes and shimmies when she dances. A friend snaps our photo. “I’ll be back tomorrow,” I tell her, not knowing if she understands.

So much that I wrote in my new book is captured in Lynne’s beautiful reflection. With the violence going on there this week, Lynne’s words are all the more important to ponder.