I knew Mary Mikhael before, but what we did together today – or more accurately what I witnessed her do – has forged a new level of friendship.
Mary is from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. Until 2011, she served as the president of the Near East School of Theology in Beirut. After her retirement,the church has named her their interpreter and communicator in this time of tragedy and crisis for the people of Syria.
Today Mary and I went from New York to DC to meet five legislators and a State Department Official. Catherine Gordon in the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness arranged the visits.
I am now standing, well actually I am sitting on a train back to NYC, in awe of Mary’s courage and grace and strength as she told the story of heartbreak and horror and hope six times. A story she has lived. A story she is living. A story that develops as she tells it. She is exhausted and sleeps beside me.
Come tomorrow, she will again tell the story of the people and church of Syria. This time she will tell the story for a video project and in the UN community.
Come tomorrow, she will recall and relieve the tragedy.
Come tomorrow, she will renew the hope.
Come tomorrow, she will again exhaust herself in witness to her faith and on behalf of her people and church and country.
Come tomorrow, I will again stand in awe.
Come tomorrow, I will weep and smile and pray for peace and justice.
See you along the Trail.