Dear ones,

I write this in tears from Petra in Jordan. Today, our little group stood on Mt. Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land he was never to enter, and at Herod’s Palace, where John the Baptist was killed. I prayed in the Franciscan church on Mt. Nebo, and I lit a candle for my children, for the church, and for this land, which has stood for so many centuries at the crossroads of so many peoples and faiths.

Tonight, terrorists have bombed three hotels in Amman, one of them directly across the street from the place we were staying just last night.

I am crying not for myself. I am safe. We are safe. We are blessed to be among the Jordanian people, who have enveloped us in a loving embrace of care and concern.

I cry for Jordan, this land of peace and promise. And for the sacrilege that has been committed on such sacred soil.

Today, our tour guide talked so proudly about the safety of Jordan. About the way this place has embraced different faiths. This is a Muslim country, but there are thriving communities of Christians here. I have walked the streets of Amman with no head covering, and I have been welcomed. Today, over lunch near Herod’s palace, we prayed before our common meal, Christians and Muslims together. We prayed for peace in this holy land, and for understanding.

Tonight, a small band of hateful fanatics has struck a blow against that peace. Tonight, people lost their lives, people were maimed, so many lives will never be the same. Tonight, I think about the young men who stood alert outside our hotel, courteous, friendly, eager to help and to speak English and to share their country and their culture. Tonight, I am so afraid that many of the dead and wounded are young men just like them.

Our driver’s family lives just behind the Hyatt in Amman. They are safe, thank God. But they will never be the same.

Tonight, I am grieving the shattering of the peace that has blessed this country. I am grieving the betrayal of Muslim and Christian beliefs in the sanctity of life. I am grieving for our Jordanian driver and tour guide, whose livelihoods and whose hopes have been devastated by these attacks. I am grieving for the wedding party caught in the blasts, thinking about the bride and groom we saw just a few days ago.

I am safe. We are safe. And we are staying in Jordan.

Today in Jordan, it was windy. We joked about the wind blowing — the wind of change, the wind of the spirit. Tonight, I am desperately afraid that the wind blowing is a storm wind that began in Washington. A wind of desperation and hatred. A wind that has hit the Jordanian capital tonight as a tornado.

Please pray. Pray for Jordan. Pray for Hatim and Ali and Amahl, our friends and guides. Pray for the people in this holy land, and the people in the Middle East.

And pray for America. Pray that we will have the strength and the courage to stand up and say to our government, enough of war. Enough of hate. Our president talks about “taking the fight” to the enemy. But the fight has been brought to Spain, to London, and tonight to Amman. Enough of war.

Pray for peace.

Salaam,

Sherri

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