As I showered in preparation for our last day of sightseeing, I reflected on many of the places we’ve visited. A list with a one- or two-sentence description would fill the rest of this blog. While each now holds a special place in my heart, and many brought the Bible to life and me to tears, one common thing connects them—fear. Rather, the lack of it.
I’ve realized how much we live in fear in the United States. With crime, murder and rape rates at mindboggling levels, we’re forced to bolt our doors at home, keep our cars locked while in the driveway, and be always mindful of our surroundings. Despite these safety precautions, robbery, theft, murder and rape dominate the nightly news.
Being the curious group we are, someone inquired about the rape statistics in Israel. The response was the number is so minuscule that a percentage doesn’t exist.
How incredible is that? Imagine living in a place where people can hitchhike at night, women no less, and not have to worry about being abducted and/or raped. Think about the peace a parent could have while their three-year-old boy walks into the market with two buddies the same age and not need anyone to occupy them. I’ve seen both during my visit here.
At first you think, at least I did, “Oh, is that safe?” But when you see it numerous times and you ask questions about it, you discover people don’t fear being mugged or kidnapped. Living in that bondage is not part of their daily life.
Granted, there are world leaders who’ve vowed to wipe the country off the face of the earth. That’s a different concern, on a much different level. But walking through life doing the things they love to do, they are able to do so without the fraught or worry that plagues us in the United States.
While visiting our sites, we’ve walked, talked, laughed and cried. And not once worried about our belongings or our safety. We’ve walked without fear, something we can’t always do at home.
How sad is that?