Inside Israel – July 5, 2011 from Jerusalem

“Hi” and welcome to today’s Inside Israel post. J of Jerusalem shares some special insights and prayer requests today. Thank you for being here and praying for her and Israel. You are a blessing. Now, here’s J . . .

I had the unasked for ‘opportunity’ recently to visit someone in the state mental hospital. It was quite a window into a world that I had not entered since I met Him…for that was the pit that He dug me out of these 36 years ago.
With Him we can go through some awful valleys…but He is WITH us and, by His grace, we walk out of them on to higher ground. When we walk away from Him, as this young single sister has done, the lies spoken in darkness don’t resound against the Rock of eternal reality. What a dark pit! So this young woman had made a serious suicide attempt and had been sent from the emergency ward to a lock down ward in the state hospital nearby my home.
My first visit to see her took me through locked and guarded gates into a serene treed and gardened village of old ‘Arab style’ houses…each one apparently a ‘ward’ or a ‘house’ for about 12 patients. Other houses must have been for doctors, activities etc and there were perhaps 30 (? I’m guessing) houses in the walled off village. But the ‘lock-down house’ was NOT a pleasant one! As I approached it I heard screams and crying. The house itself was a low square cement building with layers of reinforced bars and grid screens over the windows. I approached a locked door, but there was no bell. Someone with a key arrived just as I did and thankfully let me in. I entered an oppressive little sitting room rank with cigarette smoke and noticed that all of the barred windows were up high, not at eye level, so that light came in but you couldn’t see outside except for the tops of the trees and the birds. I learned that the reason for that is that the people in that house are so agitated that even the sight of someone unexpected could cause them to loose the tenuous control that they had. A nurse approached and I told him whom I wanted to see and he took out another key and went through another locked door to find her and bring her to me.
As I waited for her I had time to pray and also to reflect. I had been in just such a place, twice in fact… when I was in my 20s in New York. How mighty is God’s deliverance! There IS no pit too deep or too dark for His Light to reveal His Face…because He, Who walked into death itself and triumphed over it is not afraid of the dark pit of the mind in it’s own darkness, or invaded by the filthy enemy…He has conquered that as well and teaches me to ‘cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of Yeshua h’Meshiach! Psalm 18 says that “He…came down; and thick darkness was under His feet.”! It continues that “He made darkness HIS hiding-place…” Even in the darkness He expresses Himself, indeed, darkness and light are the same to Him! How thankful I am for His deliverance in my life and so many others…and by faith, for this young woman’s as well!
The staff was kinder then the overworked doctors, and they brought her out and she did allow me to pray with her once during my visits. She was only there for three days (please keep her in prayer as she was released while still not wanting to live) but during those three days I saw some amazing things. She was, on the outside, quite sane compared to the other patients in the house. They were very violent, loud out of control and irrational, which added to the agitation of my young friend’s soul. But as I visited with her I watched other friends, family, and fellowship members visiting with ‘their’ patients and saw such a difference between how things are done here and how things were done where I grew up.
In medical hospitals, I have explained, the responsibility of the hospital is ONLY to care for the patient medically. The family or friends are expected to provide in every other way and the PHYSICAL PRESENCE of caring people is a necessity. They provide water, help you to the bathroom, and basically fill ALL of the needs aside from the doctoring itself. I was surprised to see that it was the same at the mental hospital. The most violent of patients had family running in to calm them, rub their backs and feet, kiss them, wash them, all in the ‘visiting room’. On the last day that this young woman was there, I spent a number of hours with her and watched some of the care that was given. A woman was there visiting her sister. She took her into the ‘public’ bathroom and showered her, combing her hair out nicely and dressing her neatly. All of the other patients and visitors expressed joy ‘Shanit! Yafe meod! At col cok Yafa!’ (‘Shanit! How beautiful you look! You are so beautiful!’) She beamed with delight. Another patient began to wail with fear and two of the visitors began singing a child’s song with her and clapping and soon other patients were singing and clapping and laughing. The second visitor was the sister in law of a religious woman. She had brought her a whole dinner and a prayer book. They prayed the appropriate prayers and the patient wept. The sister in law comforted her. In the background singing arose…prayers. There was an ultra religious young man there and he had a constant stream of visitors from his yeshiva (A yeshiva (plural yeshivot) is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on
the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah). I was amazed at the sheer amount of visitors that came to him, two by two without let up. He was just never alone! They came with stories, they came singing (generally Psalms), over and over again I saw two other young man, one on each side of him, the three of them with arms around each other, dancing in the way that the religious dance. It was touching. They were there for him as a community. I saw so much deep and real compassion expressed unashamedly there. In Ecclesiastes 7:4 it says “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Perhaps The Lord is enlarging the place of wisdom in me for I am have been truly describing a ‘house of mourning’ and now I must rush this letter to make a shiva call… to go to the house of physical mourning.
TWO PRAYER REQUESTS: You might recall that among the Jewish traditions, when a person dies they are buried as quickly as possible, preferably within 12 hours. They are buried in a shroud, not in a coffin. Then the family rips their clothing and sits ‘shiva’ for 7 days. For 7 days everyone comes to visit…to comfort them (hopefully not like Job’s comforters!)…they are almost never alone. And so I must go and sit with my friend Liora Deko. I asked for prayer for them a short time ago. Her husband Alan had a bad cancer. He passed away on Friday. So here are two prayer requests to add to my urgent personal ones: this young single woman who needs to come back to The Lord and find her hope and joy again…and Liora Deko… to come to the knowledge of Yeshua!
AND MY THIRD PERSONAL PRAYER REQUEST: This may be the last letter that I get to write until after the 18th when my sister Charlotte leaves. Thank you so much for praying concerning this visit, which is taking place (after 17 years!) on top of an ongoing unspoken crisis. She is set to arrive this Friday, which is also the day for the scheduled ‘fly in demonstrations’ where backers of radical Palestinian groups plan to fly in to the same airport as my sister in a further attempt to initiate the fall of our country. Through my dear friend who is also the ambassador to America, my sister and I received a letter to passport control introducing her requesting her entry to the country without question J. I am asking for prayer that I will be at peace in my heart, not tense during the 10 days that we have together…and that she will see Yeshua and love Him! Also that her heart will be knit to this land which is calling her home to this land. Please pray for peace in our home and…well…you know! ALL of it!
Thank you for your prayers for our nation, and for our family. May His grace and mercy lead us only always to Himself for His glory! Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek

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