by Geneva Chinnock
When I first started talking about going to Israel, people immediately asked “Is it safe to travel there?” On one hand, I can understand their concern. Based on the news, Israel is a dangerous place, full of terrorists and bombings. (Nothing like that would ever happen on American soil…) In the news business, bad news leads to high ratings, irregardless of its accuracy. According to Yehuda, a lot of the news about Israel is inaccurate. However, Israel is a tiny country surrounded by large countries bent on its destruction so you can see why people might consider the risks before traveling to the region (which might make you pause, contemplate and secure your eternal destiny by accepting Jesus as your Messiah). On the other hand, according to Leslie, it is very safe to be in Israel. Israel has compulsory military service so everyone serves in the military for three years, including women. So with all this military service, lots of people have guns. Since people never know who might be carrying a gun, there is not a lot of crime. (Draw your own conclusion…)
Knowing all of this, I was still a bit startled the first time I saw an ordinary man with a gun in Israel. He wasn’t just an ordinary man, though, he was a religious Jew, with tzitzits…and a gun.
The next man I saw was less shocking. Notice–no tzitzits.
We found men with guns at our baptismal site at the Jordan River…
We found men with guns at the City of David…
We found men with guns happy to pose with my, I mean “Leslie’s daughter”…
And, of course, there were men with guns at the Knesset.
Sometimes in life we search for things that we think we don’t have when, in fact, it has been there all along. God spoke about this through the prophet Jeremiah when He said:“My people have committed two sins:They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jer. 2:13) Israel forgot about the God they had and went searching for Him in all the wrong places.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with guns…
On about the eighth day of our trip, I asked Yehuda something about his computer. (Yehuda is the man in the black and white jacket with a computer bag in the photo below).
“Oh,” he said nonchalantly, “it’s a gun.”
And sure enough, when I looked closely at the bulge in the bag, it was a gun.
So I had been photographing men with guns all over Israel, when all along, we had our very own man with a gun, Yehuda.