Everyone in the US is celebrating Father's Day today. I have seen many messages on Facebook of people saying how grateful they are for their fathers and wishing their fathers a Happy Father's Day.
We don't celebrate Father's Day in our culture. I guess that comes from the fact that mothers do a lot more in the home than fathers do and men have enough recognition. But, even if we did celebrate, I don't have a father on earth that I could wish a happy Father's Day to. I wish I could talk to my father, but he passed away a long time ago.
This Father's Day I want to express how grateful I am for my Heavenly Father. Even though I can't talk to my earthly father these days, my Heavenly Father is always there and He always hears me when I pray.
My Heavenly Father has blessed me so much. I have had an interesting life, so I am not used to things going well for long periods of time. When things started to go well for me, I kept waiting for some bad news, or a trial, but months went by and nothing happened. No checkpoints, no curfew, no humiliation...
As I look around this beautiful earth and all the wonderful people Heavenly Father put in my path, my heart fills with gratitude.
He loves us all equally and wants to help us all return to live with Him. We should all strive to look at others with charity and see everyone for the child of God they are.
We often think of ourselves as Santa, putting people on a 'naughty' and 'nice' list. Sadly, I know people who think this way: "this person is Muslim, so they must be bad, or they are Palestinian so they must be terrorists". Who are we to judge?
I was telling my students a few days ago about an investigator I met on my mission. When I met him, he was driving a motorcycle, had a black outfit, black leather jacket full of skeletons, he had long hair, earring, chains...etc. He also said he had two kids from two different women, he smoked and drank...I judged his outward appearance and though, "there is no way this man will join the church." But, this person's heart was golden, he loved the Lord and had a desire to do good. The Lord reminds us: "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16: 7)
My brother, Mazin, just came to the US to give a few talks. My brother has donated a large sum of money to start a Natural History Museum in Palestine (the first of it's kind). He donates countless hours of his time to teach youth and children to serve and to love nature and animals. He also advocates for those who are oppressed. He stood in the paths of Israeli bulldozers as they were about to demolish Palestinian homes and confiscate their land.
Because Mazin has done so much in speaking out against injustices, he is now on the USA's 'naughty' list. As he came into the US just recently, he was treated horribly and searched and humiliated even though he is an American citizen. Since when did speaking the truth become illegal? Since when did serving others become despised and criticized?
I am wondering if I would make it to the 'naughty' list when my book "Peace for a Palestinian" comes out. I do tell the truth about what is going on in the Holy Land through my life story.
I hope we all can be open in standing strong against injustices. In advocating for truth, and holding the hands of those people that are oppressed. For our Father is the same, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and we are all brothers and sisters.
Unlike many think, our Heavenly Father does not have a naughty and nice list. He loves all His children and His arms are open to welcome any of them, if they but repent. He has an amazing place prepared for each of us, a place more remarkable that we ever imagine. All we have to do is head in that direction and be obedient to His commandments.