“Keep my spirit, until I come back”

29 Nov

At the farewell dinner the night before the Christian teachers from the Holy Land left us to fly back home, Rogeece, in the name of the group, presented me with a piece of olive wood in the shape of a heart. This is how she explained the gift: 

When we were at the Freedom Center, I watched a six-to-seven minute video about a young boy who was from a slave family. He was escaping, in order to look for freedom, and then return to his family. His hope was to bring back freedom for all of them. When the young boy was about to say goodbye to his mother and his young sister, he gave them a heart-shaped stone. Handing his heart to his sister, he said, “Keep my spirit, until I come back.” He meant to come back as a human being, with all his rights and dignity, to give freedom to all of them.

As we leave Cincinnati, we give a heart-shaped piece of olive wood to you, our father, and to our sisters and brothers that we leave behind. We ask you to keep our spirit, until we get peace in our land, the Holy Land, until we live with our families in peaceful and just conditions, and until we return with dignity.

I will keep your heart close to my heart, Rogeece. I will keep your spirit, until you come back.

4 Responses to ““Keep my spirit, until I come back””

  1. hopevoices November 30, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    WOW! Tearfully beautiful…I pray for the day when she can have the heart returned to her!

  2. waseim November 30, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    What are a words they are…..? in that moment I was there and look to my friend Rogeece asking my self wht she is gion to do …! But when she connect between the freedom center and our life with a heart made of olivewood of our land I connect and rilyse wht she is tooking about in that moment My tears is giong out … (It is vey diifcult to cry … But in this moment the tears go out….? wheth this coonnecting…when this heart we still ON USA
    WE STILL THERE….!

  3. Judy Maly November 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Beautiful! I am working hard to keep everyone’s hearts close and their message alive.

    • Father Rob Waller November 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      Certainly, your heart is in the right place, Judy. “To have a heart for the Christian Palestinians” is right and just.

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