Qana sits in the rolling hills of the south of Lebanon, inland from the ancient port of Tyre. As you begin to head inland from Tyre towards Qana, the lush orange groves and banana plantations that hug the coastline give way to an undulating, rocky and sparsely vegetated terrain. It feels like you are taking a mystical journey into a forgotten piece of land.
There are natural, rock-dug caves to be found in Qana that carry old inscriptions. This small town is believed by some to be the site of Cana of Galilee from the Christian New Testament, the place where Jesus performed the first of his miracles at a wedding by turning water into wine. Unfortunately Qana is also known for the 2 massacres that took place there in 1996 and 2006 caused by Israeli airstrike that killed 134 people and injured another 130 or more.
Looking out in contemplation from the cave onto the undulating valley, the rocky hillsides and the odd verdant patch, not a sound could be heard. I could do little but wonder how in a place where blood flows like wine, and where wine transformed into water, how things seemed so complicated and simple on the surface. And yet beneath the thinned skins of her people, lies the stuff that brings knees to floors.
Exactly on this same patch of land where I was standing, stood Jesus and he took water, an inorganic, non-living, commonplace substance and without a word, without a gesture, without any laying on of hands, in utter simplicity, turned water into wine, an organic liquid, a product of fermentation, belonging to the realm of life. How can life start on this piece of land that has absorbed so much innocent blood, which has soaked so much tears and misery?
Exactly on this same patch of land, I could do little but admire the peace and tranquility evoked in these biblical surroundings as the wind brushed through my face and I could feel a divine spirit (whatever it may be) stroke my heart. I could feel the power of this earth that stood there, proud as a mother and sad as a mother.
This water that turned into wine is blood that is made for promising. I will keep my blood, I will love my family, and I will love my blood. I will not fill my blood with rage or boiling spite. For when I am done, the blood shall run, and hatred shall step aside and I will let love fill my heart, the love of my country, my family, and my home. We will only heal with love and life-changing power.
Because as I stood on this same patch of land surrounded by her spirits, I promised myself that this little village that has witnessed a divine miracle can not be buried by hatred and rage, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton.