Crossposted from SammerTime
I awoke to the sound of light rain on the tin roof. Quite pleased after checking my watch and realizing I slept in much longer than usual, I stepped outside to find an unusual morning. Light rain was falling and fog had enveloped the valley in which At-Tuwani lies. The Palestinian town to the north was obscured by the fog, as were Ma’on and Havat Ma’on, an Israeli settlement and illegal Israeli outpost, respectively. The South Hebron Hills, the name that denotes the greater area of which At-Tuwani is a part, is usually marked by clear skies and clear visibility for miles. This Christmas morning, the scene was different as Ma’on and Havat Ma’on were seemingly disconnected from At-Tuwani due to the fog.
The residents of Ma’on and Havat Ma’on are significant perpetrators of the system of oppression that makes life difficult for Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills. Ideologically-driven Israeli settlers inhabit these areas and often carry out acts of violence and terror against Palestinian farmers, shepherds, and schoolchildren.
As I stood in the fog and stared into the grayness which covered Ma’on and Havat Ma’on, I was struck with the significance of this image on Christmas morning. The Christmas morning fog obscured the locus of violence, oppression, and hatred in this area. Instead, all that was visible were signs of life: rain watered the parched land, children played with marbles, and villagers constructed a room that will display pictures of the nonviolent resistance in this area.
These images were especially significant on this Christmas morning because the incarnation of God, celebrated on Christmas, dealt a decisive blow to the powers of violence, oppression, and hatred. Nonetheless, these ugly powers haven’t been completely vanquished in our world; they still are manifested against people like these farmers, shepherds, and schoolchildren.
The Christmas rain continued to fall throughout the day, providing the possibility for life and for growth in this land. The incarnation of God, in the person of Jesus Christ, was a means of offering the possibility of life to a world dominated by violence, oppression, and hatred. May the Kingdom of God continue to break into these powers and systems of violence. May God’s Peace reign.