Lebanon’s Love is as Ancient as the Love of God, her resilience parallel to the Cedars of Lebanon, which live over thousands of years, and are also referred as the Cedars of God. There will be beauty rising out of these ashes, resurrection will take place for all who died, and the oil of gladness will once again anoint everyone. Weddings will take place, Baptisms will be celebrated, and loved ones will bid goodbye to the ones who will die — in their own righteous, natural time.
After all, after a good rebuilding and restoring, we will once again sing by the shores of the Mediterranean, and drink fresh, spring waters of Sannin. There will be banquets prepared not just for the wealthy and the rich, but for all who are hungry. The tables will extend from Beirut to Baalbek; from Tripoli to Tyre; and from Jbeil to Jezzine.
Therefore, I have HOPE for BEIRUT. An unshakeable hope that endures storms of corruption; unspeakable hope that lift each other up. I remember the wounded lifting up the other wounded person and making sure they are taken care of when the shelling was taking place in 1978.
Yes, I was only eleven years old, and I remember clearly, we did not see the sun for ten days out of fifteen. Without electricity and water pipes all busted on the streets, we took our buckets to the street corners and picked up fresh water cup by cup and filled our buckets with drinking water and brought them up to the first floor of the apartment building where we lived. An eleven-year-old girl carrying heavy buckets of water up two flights of stairs, more than twenty steps for sure, but we made it through.
I believe the resilience that the people of Lebanon have is a God-Given gift that every human has, we just need to dig deep. Sometimes, I find when we are comfortable, we do not tap to the depths of our souls where God has given us everything we need to not only survive but thrive.
Back in the day, before I came to Canada as a refugee in 1986 and called it home, we relied on wonderful organizations to help us have milk, sugar, rice, medicine and other necessities of life. Here is our opportunity to continue reaching the people of Beirut, Lebanon, not just as Christians, but as humans. I know how many Lebanese people used to give their last piece of bread to someone who is in greater need than themselves because they knew that was the Christian way to live. I remember my mother telling me how her Muslim landlord’s wife fed her daily lunch, when she was pregnant and hungry. even if the neighbour’s own children were hungry. This is how Lebanon was. The interfaith living at its best, unfortunately, money took over the differences and political leaders corrupted the lives of amazing people.
So, what will come out of the explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020?
I envision Celebration – a banquet of Grace that will feed ALL. I believe that the celebration will flow with milk and honey; best bread and the best wine of the Beqaa Valley. There will also be tourists getting into the boats of the grotto of Jeita where the ancient rocks drip the history of Love before time began…
Friends, if you are reading this article, you are one of the few who live in a country that literally flows with milk and honey and delicious wine. Here is your opportunity to extend your banquet table over the ocean and reach beyond the impossibilities of life and give as you are able.
We have set up a link through Canada Helps to send Love, Care and HOPE to Beirut. These donations will go directly to the partners we have on the grounds of Beirut where the people are taking care of each other. I, myself, would not be here today if it was not for the missionaries, many organizations, and selfless people who gave for the destitute in Lebanon. I urge you to give as you are able.
You may do direct donations online on this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34624
Or send your e-transfers to the Elgin-Portland Pastoral Charge’s Treasurer: Mr. Ted Brett – at: [email protected]
I Remain Humbly because of Grace,
Rev. Takouhi Demirdjian-Petro