During the recent ruthless assault on the people of Gaza when so many people were injured or murdered, I lost my own sister; she had been ill for many years. The loss of this one person, whose death was anticipated, was such a blow, that when I considered the losses to the people of Gaza – of mothers, children, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, and friends, I wondered how the anguish of so much tragic loss could be sustained. Housing, hospitals, nurseries, libraries, schools, were also lost. Surely the blow to the human spirit would be intolerable for many, and there would seem little reason for continuing to live.
Going to Gaza is our opportunity (my partner Garrett Larson’s and mine) to express solidarity with the people there. To demonstrate the concern we feel each day for the suffering endured. To remind the people of Gaza and ourselves that we belong to the same world: the world where grief is not only acknowledged, but shared; where we see injustice and call it by its name; where we see suffering and know the one who stands and sees is also harmed, but not nearly so much as the one who stands and sees and says and does nothing. We can bring our witness, one of life’s strongest gifts, as others have come to our side, witnessing our struggle, when life appeared impossible to bear. When all is lost, or nearly lost, tenderness remains, or could. We can offer what we are.