“I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you [My] friends because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father.”John 15:15
I believe the majority of my readership has grown children and grandchildren. You know how your heart expands when, finally after so many years of caring, instructing and providing, your child or grandchild crosses over that invisible line into your heart as a friend. I have found no other relationship in life to equal this joy.
Today the time for ‘goodbyes’ finally arrived. By 8:30 a.m. three of our beautiful granddaughters were all packed and ready to head to the airport, return home and step back into their lives once again. Our interlude together was so short; almost like a few sweet notes of a favourite love song running through your thoughts.
Young women today are very determined about so much. Studies rank number one I think. ‘Becoming’ is all important. My sage advice was: [for what it was worth:] “Lean to help people and you will always have work.” This was met with silence. Today, the young face challenges that we couldn’t possibly have imagined at their age. The girls brought us into their world. Peer pressure is real. The internet has had its insidious way of influencing what they should or should not be thinking or doing, right down to the very kinds of foods they eat, or what kind of exercises to engage in. Social media is more demanding than any parent could ever think of being, I am told. So we need to walk softly. LOVE at all times!
Then there is the controversy about the subject of god, with a little ‘g’ of course. ’God’ alludes to images in young minds of heavy-handed masculine authority. Reading my Bible daily according to one young observer was because I was bored. Then the question: How do we know that the Almighty isn’t a “SHE”?
The LORD … she? When speaking with the girls, Jay referred to The LORD. “Oh, Grandpa, when you say that I can’t hear anything else, I close down.”
“Can you explain?” He said.
“I guess it is the awful burden of the influence of the patriarchy; the power of the ’white, middle-aged male.” We shun ‘it’ at all costs, and beside him stands the overbearing domineering mother. God just can’t be like that! We just can’t accept what was …”
God, a family? My response: “Want to know how I see God?” I took the silence to be a yes. “I see God as a family. We have learned about God the Father, filled with compassion and mercy. From the Hebrew, I learned that El Shaddai means, double-breasted One. The three root letters of that mysterious word appear on every mezuzah which is placed on the right door post of every Jewish home, and every room throughout the house. (It is never fixed to the entrance of a workroom or bathroom.)
I asked, “Have you heard the saying, the mother is the home? John the Baptist said after Jesus had his mikvah (baptism) he heard the words, ’This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased and delighted.’“ (Matthew 4:17, Psalm 2:7, Isaiah 42:1) A Father, Mother and Son = a family.
Life from Above:
And … I explained, the Bible has a ‘family’, both Israel and the Church. Moses wrote about the Almighty who made the heavens and the earth and everything in them. But it is the sustaining kindness and mercy that comes from heaven that keeps us. This kind of love is pure and peaceful. The wisdom of God causes us to thrive. It is better than good fatherly and motherly advice and has a way of keeping us on the path of Life. Finally, it is Joshua, Yeshua, or Jesus, which means – Salvation – a gift from of this Almighty Being that brings us life from above.’” John 3:16
What is love?
We discussed the Greek understanding of love found in the word agape. Kindly allow me to quote: “We ought always and indeed are morally obligated [as those in debt] to give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is fitting, because your faith is growing even greater, and the [unselfish] agape-love of each one of you toward one another is continually increasing.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3
The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love, (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person. For example, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another. This kind of agape was so evident in my granddaughter’s lives one for the other. The most important gift for them was the ability given to everyone to “choose LIFE”.
Love your Young Adults just as they are
Perhaps what young people fear or shun most of all is religiosity. They are very sensitive to an ego that thrives on being just a little more ‘in the know’ than the poor average man on the street. This kind of attitude does not go unnoticed.
Then came the epigenetic discussion, followed by the gender phenomena sweeping the globe. The girls had experience in school. One friend in grade 4 was Steve, and by grade 9 he had become Elisabeth. My granddaughter learned as the teacher asked respectfully: “What pronouns do you prefer?” Whether you agree with the narrative or not is not the question. How to respect the other soul of ‘the other’ is. Trust me, I learned a thing or two.
Gospel of Peace:
Again, old stigmas are out the window. But I believe this so-called ‘new’ (nothing is new under the sun), has to give way to the ‘good news of peace. Pray for them to encounter the LOVE and LIVE from above. These beautiful young people are idealistic, yet very kind and loving. I pray this will change and they will think more kindly of themselves and not push so hard. As they hugged us goodbye for this year, I knew more than ever, my task is – to pray without ceasing.
To our dear friends of Still Small Voice, I fail to tell you enough how very appreciative we all are of your agape to not only me, but for my outreaches, and those of my husband and the Israel Vision team.
From a Friend in Russia:
“So… I am sure these lovely days you enjoy now are times of refreshing. I think you and Jay are right where the Lord wants you to be. The Lord will give you the right words for each occasion in Canada. We prepare, He leads and guides. The Holy Spirit will fine-tune the message exactly for each specific group. I have saved snippets from your 2015 Canadian tour and that is exactly what I saw then. You and Jay have had a lot of experience in following God’s Spirit over the years. Enjoy!”
Dear Jay and Meridel: My family and I ENCOURAGE you to trust even more! It is the Father’s good pleasure to do all that you need to be done for you … expect it!”
Of course, we do not know what to expect, since Canada has made a great political shift since we were last there. Yes, we have learned to adjust to each particular audience we minister to. May the LORD guide our every step. The tour is shaping up very nicely. The only place we do not have accommodation is in Vancouver. Please pray.
I am reminded of my Grandma’s wise words one cold Canadian fall day. A bitter north wind rose sharply and began to thrash the tall Lombardy Poplar grove. Showers of golden leaves blew over the garden, stripping the trees bare. “See those great trees? Why do you suppose they are not broken in that wind?” Grandma knelt down and asked, searching my blank face for an answer, but finding one she went on. “Because they are created to bend in the wind.” Then she paused for it to sink in and added, “Meridel, you must learn to bend throughout your life, especially during the hard times.” Thank you, Grandma!
The Latest in Israel:
- Housing has gone up over 15% this year. Israelis are now looking for a very different kind of community. They continue moving out of cities and into collective settlements, even as (almost) post-COVID normalcy returns. Perhaps once again the kibbutz way of life will flourish. The middle class is disappearing.
- The Palestinian People continue to suffer under cruel and duplicitous leaders. Young thugs are now using Lasers at night; blinding Israeli drivers, and causing them temporary blindness. The entire area is a hotbed of madness. Put Jenin on your prayer list, it is home to radical anti-Israel groups such as the head of Islamic Jihad who was just killed. Hell is twisting minds and feeding this foment.
- Who knew Ethiopia was so blessed with a substance that has been forbidden to be exported? In the 1980s Israel began to airlift her Jewish children home. Today Hebrew University researchers are developing Ethiopian teff seeds, which could be the world’s next superfood. Teff is a grain, the staple Ethiopian diet for thousands of years. It is the key ingredient in a sour flatbread called injera. Researchers are bringing this protein-rich, gluten-free grain to Israel. Full of amino acids, minerals, fibre and protein, teff can grow in far from optimal conditions and regions suffering drought. You can read more on the Israeli- Innovation website: NoCamels. By United with Israel Staff
“… But there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother.”Proverbs 18:24
I can call you a friend. I write because I love writing, Still Small Voice, reaching out, and trying to communicate. Thank you for responding.