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Human Faces

July 14, 2014

I haven’t wrote on this blog in a long while. Much has changed, and though I won’t give a promise that I will focus on blogging more, I will say that I felt this important enough to keep forever, and not just as a post on a message board.

You see, I have been writing. Lots, actually.

  • After finishing my initial draft of the Message, I’ve been stuck on one particularly trying thread of the story’s tapestry. It won’t go in the right position, but I haven’t given up and have pulled in a few people to help iron that out.
  • I wrote a 2nd novel, The Seer Covenant (a New Adult – Urban Fantasy) also in the purgatory of rewrites after switching the story from 3rd person to 1st and then realizing (with others input) that it requires a 2nd character and therefore to be switched BACK to 3rd person with additional scenes.
  • I wrote several short stories, rejected but one made it in the top 30 for a British anthology – Fantasy Faction Anthology. It was a similar voice to the Seer Covenant, but it was much more over the top in the humor department. It’s working title was The Ghost Bounty Hunter. After it failed to make the final cut, I worked on extending the story into a novel or novella. That’s still a work in progress.
  • I answered an ad for content writers to The Geekality, a website that predominately reviews comic books, though I’ve also wrote an article or two about pro wrestling.
  • And I responded to a request for writer’s from a guy wanting to do a webcomic. His name is Nadi, and he’s the reason I’m writing this post.

I sent Nadi to this site to get an idea of my writing style, including comic work. He had some concerns, predominately about the religious aspects of my writing given he was Jewish and my comic work on the site was obviously Christian. We decided to move forward together with the focus of the story being human struggles, one that anyone could relate.

And it was about a human struggle that I’m writing today. As I mentioned, Nadi is Jewish. What I didn’t spell out is that he is Israeli. In light of current events, that’s an important distinction. This week, he sent me some images of the comic, and dropped a note that I should expect things to slow down due to the conflict getting tense in Israel. I, like many Americans, knew of the situation in Israel. During our church service yesterday morning, it was a topic of prayer. Our news had covered the growing conflict, and depending on where you watched the news, they slanted the story to be either pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. We discussed this at length, and I even spent some time looking for articles from US news outlets that provided corroboration for Hamas instructing Palestinians to stay in their homes (something that was challenging to find from major news outlets). Regardless of the conflict I had seen on the screen, and my knowledge of Nadi living in Israel, I assumed he was out of the fray. I was wrong.

After getting Nadi’s note, I went to Facebook to see if he was still online. He was, and I asked how he was and if everything was alright. “it’s frightening when there is an alarm but then things go back to normal kind of.” (his words, not mine). For me, it was a surreal situation, not only hearing of a news story across the world but having a person I knew, and had known, involved in it. As we talked, Nadi shared the situation from someone existing within it. The news wasn’t a story, it was a person.

In many ways, that’s how I try to read the Bible. It gives snippets of information. We learn of how the prophet did something, but it’s only when we stop and consider what’s happening that the story, the real story… the human story, comes alive. 2Chronicles 28 tells several stories, but in verse 14 it tells a most remarkable story. All the words say is: “So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder…” but the story goes much further than that in the historical context. They gave up their pay, willingly, in order to not sin against God (as a prophet had warned them earlier). That decision was covered simply, and the following decisions of giving clothes to the naked and returning them to their families has a great many stories, each one of them important if you are a human who has ever lost a family member. All you would want is to have them returned.

So here I was, talking and learning from Nadi, and if you want to know the most interesting topic, it was his concern for innocent Palestinians, his ease at dividing “militant Arabs” from those who are utilized as little more than human shields. And the humanity of those innocents, whether they agreed or disagreed with his own views. A good deal of our conversation involved those people caught in the crossfire, especially those who may want to leave and not be involved in the conflict but have no choice.

And it left me with a prayer request to anyone reading this. Regardless of which side you fall on the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma, those who are in Gaza of their own volition, whether to send rockets in aggression or to be potentially martyred for that cause, are soldiers choosing this battle to fight. But there are others. Human beings caught, for reasons beyond my comprehension, into the conflict. They are not firing rockets, but they are afraid to leave. Pray for them. Pray for their way out. For in so doing, you may be praying for the peace of Israel and Palestine, the peace for a great many humans.

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2 comments

  1. What a remarkable story. The fact that you were able to connect a disconnected news story to an actual human being is, sadly, incredible in this day and age. I have to admit I don’t watch or read news. At all. I find it not only stressful, but also impossible to know whether or not these news “professionals” are telling me the truth. Actual human truth. The whole story. The result is that I am sadly ignorant of the important events going on around the world, but at the moment, I don’t know of a way to get around this without drowning in horror and half-truths. I hope Nadi is okay. I’ll try to remember him and his family in my prayers.
    Good luck on your rewrites / edits.
    – Alyssa


    • Nadi is safe. Of course, the violence seems to have subsided in recent weeks, though not throughout the region (Syria and Iraq are still a hotbed of violence). It’s a constant struggle against violent factions, and the answers for how to handle those aggressors continue to challenge.

      It was a truly unique situation, and one I’d never experienced. World news always seems somehow removed, like watching a movie. When I connected it to Nadi, someone I would call “friend,” it made the story real.

      Thanks for stopping by and praying for peace and safety. And keep up the poetry on your site. I wish I was better at poetry, but it’s clearly not a strength.



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