Palestinian Habib - Beloved);
and Danny - Israeli soldier.
The soldier at the Bethlehem checkpoint opened the back door and crouched close to the wounded man’s head.
“Habib, don’t tell anyone about this.” He pulled a card from his vest pocket. “You have to take my military ID and head straight to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus. You and I are about the same size and look similar, so they won’t ask questions. You have to do this.”
Habib grabbed the hand holding the soldier’s identification. “You’ll be dismissed from the IDF and disgraced for doing this, Danny.”
It doesn’t matter. Just go, my friend.
Minutes later, surgeons at Hadassah Hospital believed they were operating on an Israeli soldier who was a victim of an accidental shooting. Only when the real owner of the ID showed up the next morning to visit their patient did details of the story begin to circulate.
Habib’s hatred of Jews was undermined further when, far from disgracing Danny, the Israeli government branded him a hero because of his sacrifice and commitment to peace. And perhaps most troubling of all to his long-standing attitude, the medical staff continued their kindness and humane treatment even when they found out Habib was Palestinian.
Throughout weeks of recovery, one question dominated Habib’s thoughts. Why would God save me from certain death? Surely it was not so he could join a militant group like Hamas and fight to destroy Israel.
The question wandered through his mind as he drifted to sleep one night during his third week in the hospital.When a light flashed from the doorway of his room, he assumed one of the nurses was making her rounds. But then Habib realized the place he lay was not the hospital room in which he had gone to sleep, and the light was coming from a . . . man. Something profound passed between them as the person spoke four words: “I love you, Habib”
Habib awoke to his room at the medical center and knew the man in his dream had been Jesus. Spurred by several recurrences of the same visitation, Habib found a Bible and read the New Testament all the way through the next week.
Now Habib had a new question. How have I missed Jesus all this time? It seemed especially ironic given that he and his newfound Savior were born in the same town.
Today Habib has embraced Christ completely. And Danny?
“Danny is like a brother to me”, says Habib. “I have been threatened because of our friendship, and I finally had to leave the West Bank. All because I am friends with a Jew who saved my life.”
Habib has also joined forces with people quite different from the Hamas combatants who attracted him before his conversion. Part of the reconciliation movement of Jews and Palestinians. Habib now risks his life to bring down walls not made of concrete.
Dreams and Visions - Tom Doyle pp 192,193
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