Calling for Prophetic Passion الدعوة إلى شغف نبوي

By Robert Hamd

Today, the younger generations of Christians are asking the difficult questions, such as why injustice persists. They are passionate about a convergence of the words of scripture and real-life practice. For example, they read passages from Isaiah that challenge us to “learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (1:17). They ponder the book of Jeremiah who criticizes those who “do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,” and “do not defend the rights of the needy” (5:28).  They hear a similar prophetic voice, that of Hosea, who calls us to “hold fast to love and justice” (12:6), and Amos says, “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream” (5:24). According to the prophet Micah, the Lord requires nothing more of us than to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8).

All these voices challenge all generations of Christ-followers, whether the younger or the older, to put effort into changing the world as it is into the world as it should be, Continue reading

Re-Reading Our Times

The 1970s were defining for me. Those were my high school years. Growing up between Lebanon and the US gave me the opportunity to experience those formative high school years cross-culturally. I was a mid-western boy living in a Middle Eastern home. Recently, I’ve decided to reread some of my old high school English literature readings to see how my viewpoint has changed over the years.

One book, in particular, which caught me by surprise, was Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, written in 1899. Heart of Darkness is considered to be no. 32 on the list of the 100 all-time best English novels.[1] I love Conrad’s evocative use of English, which wasn’t his first language. In an economy of words, he takes us on a journey of the consequences of unbridled Empire. Continue reading

Can Someone Please Take Out the Trash? A Family Systems Approach to Lebanese Dysfunction

By Robert Hamd

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion…

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful…

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, and farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again…

Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.

Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran in 1934 captured the hearts of the people of Lebanon in his prophetic words about his beloved country. I think poetry has the capacity, with razor-sharp words and emotional accuracy, to describe the actual reality experienced on the ground. In a mere 23 lines, Gibran encapsulates the broader complexities and paradoxes of Lebanon in his poem, “Pity the Nation.” According to Gibran, the country that is to be pitied is one that is unwilling to honestly assess its repetitive behavior, or, once it is evaluated, does not have the courage to change. Continue reading