Casualty of War

I have three children, two lovely daughters-in-law and one adorable grand baby. All in America, close to me, or at least not too far.



My sister lives in Belgium and has two sons, both in Palestine, far from her, and in danger. And my sweet sister’s heart, it is bleeding. It is hurting. It is afraid. She is a mother who can’t protect her sons. Angry, mad, and her wounded heart breaks mine beyond words–I am a mother too. I get her arguments, her outrage, her guttural scream that is turning into exhausted silence.

I hate that we are on different sides of the fence. I don’t know how to be a peacemaker.

My sister and I, we grew up in the same house, faced the same ugly family situations, shared quite a few giggles over the years, and wound up making very different choices in life. She married a Palestinian man, I moved across the ocean to the “land of plenty.” We don’t connect too often, but when we do, the strong family roots awaken, and my heart fills with joy. And even though we are so different, we get each other on so many levels–maybe it is because of the childhood we shared.

Today, I empathize with her down to my toes, and yet here I sit, relatively safe in my American home, while her sons are in hiding and see war planes fly over them. And my sister’s sadness, it is a bottomless pit, and my heart breaks for her. But I don’t know how to be a peacemaker.

And I pray that this war, it won’t separate us any more than the years, our life experiences and beliefs already have.

My sister and I, we don’t serve the same God. And she and I, we don’t see eye to eye on basic human values. And she and I, we are on opposite sides politically. And she and I, we have made very different choices.


But my sister and I, we share some DNA. And my sister and I, we faced a funeral together, and all that it entails. And my sister and I, we somehow found a way to respect each other.

But I don’t know how to be a peacemaker. And I pray that this war, it won’t destroy us. There are too many casualties already.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

one-thousand7#943 The Lord giving me words to comfort someone

#944 The humility received to apologize

#945 Corn on the cob with butter 

#946 Summer’s wild flowers 

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home, SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home, Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, Extraordinary, Lessons from Ivy, Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday, Finding Joy, WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word, Reclaiming a Redeemed Life























































  1. Barbara, what a moving post! I think all of us who are parents can “get” your sister’s anger and worry even if we, like you, are on the opposite side of the conflict spiritually and politically. I pray for you and for your sister and for both of your families in this time that is unquestionably difficult.


  2. Barbara, what a moving post. So painful to be separated from family on varied levels. Praying our God would open her eyes & soften her heart to His truth. Praying for peace, if not politically, to dwell in her heart & yours as well during this time of so much unrest. Thank you for making us aware of how this conflict affects people in ways we may not ordinarily think of on our own. Blessings!


  3. Barbara, this is so poignant and I cannot even begin to imagine how hard this has to be for both of you when the differences may get in the way. I think regardless of one’s position in this conflict, we can all agree that we need to pray for peace for both sides so that the killing will end. Praying for you and your sister, and everyone involved in this awful conflict.


  4. Barbara, I pray God will continue to help you be a peacemaker despite the circumstances. I also pray for your sister’s heart to come to know the One True and Living God who can bring a peace that passes understanding even in the midst of war. Stopping by from Little R&R Linkup


  5. What an incredibly moving post, Barbara. I pray God gives you wisdom to be the peacemaker you desire to be. With both my husband and son both serving in harms way currently, I am always praying for peace. Blessings.


  6. I am so so sorry to hear about your sister and her struggles in Palestine. I hope and pray she and her family are safe.I cannot believe how many innocent lives have been lost and how many buildings have been destroyed and for what?

    I don’t know any Palestinians, but I know a number of Israelis as we visited Israel, Jordan and Egypt in 2009 with some Jewish friends. What I do know is that Israelis have to have bomb shelters in every home, whether it’s a house or an their neighbours wish them dead. The young (20s) dream of living in the USA, where they don’t have to worry about rockets firing at them daily. I understand Israel’s fear and its need to protect itself. I don’t understand why so many innocent Palestinians had to lose their lives. I wish Hamas would’ve said enough a long time ago. I wish their borders could be more fluid but realistically, how can Israel open up its borders knowing those across it want them dead?

    I do know that I was surprised at how small Israel was, the size of Vancouver Island where I live. I was also surprised to see many Arab communities within Israel – like Akko, Bethlehem (where we didn’t feel safe to visit even though we are not Jewish), and Nazareth.doing well. The road signs are all in Hebrew, English and Arabic. I found Israel a tolerant nation. Unfortunately, their fears have propelled them to strike out and now the world’s antisemitism has raised its ugly head once again. I believe this is part of Hamas’ strategy. At the same time, I wish Israel could find another way to protect itself. I am shocked by the human waste.

    Wishing you and your family the best. I am also praying for peace. No matter what religion people follow, there needs to be tolerance and acceptance for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Barbara, I was so moved by your story and so glad I had the chance to read it through Lisha’s link up. The situation in Palestine is so terrible and it is the human stories like yours and your sister’s that help to being that home to us. May you all find peace and blessing somehow.


  8. Dear Barbara, there just aren’t words to comfort you. I’m thankful you have the true God and pray that your sister will come to know Him. It’s so easy to close our eyes to the suffering there. I’ll be praying for you and your sister. ~Pamela


  9. This is a hard saying…what to do when the one you share DNA with is on the other side of a war fence…My heart is broken for you…for her…May the God of peace will your heart.


  10. Oh my, I so feel for the people there. I can’t even imagine it. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and I am thankful she has a loving sister, that you are able to put aside these difference. In the end, only love remains, of this I am sure…


  11. Oh. The weight and ache and beauty of this is palpable. I don’t know what to say but to echo your spoken and unspoken prayers here. This is a personal glimpse into how war touches us, even from so far away, and for me, it’s a call to pray.


  12. Barbara – you always move and enrich me with your words. I am praying for you, your sister, your family. The sin of the world separates us in so many ways…

    Thank you for being a blessing to us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy. You are one of our Featured Guests at this week’s party (Week 137).


  13. Your family situation gives you a unique, yet painful perspective. I’m so thankful that you’ve been able to keep a relationship of love and respect with your sister. Prayer is indeed your greatest weapon in this war. May God give you wisdom in your dealings with your sister. I pray for that for you, and for safety for her and her sons.


  14. […] And there are some events in the news that are just too horrible for me to process, like the story of those children in Iraq beheaded because their parents are Christians. I can’t wrap my mind around this, and I can’t stop thinking about the horror, and the grief, courage and stand in the Lord… and my spirit weeps deep within me for the state of humanity.  […]


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