Yesterday I spoke on the phone with a good friend of mine from Iraq. We talk a lot about Islam, Christianity, and life. But now we talk almost exclusively about the huge, complex, heart-wrenching problems of suffering in Syria, Iraq, and Gaza.

This is what he said to me yesterday about Gaza.
These are words that touched me deeply.
This is why I love him.

He said with real compassion in his voice:

“Today I saw the funeral of an Israeli soldier. I saw his family crying. My heart was broken. Do you think I don’t care? I care! I care about all of humanity. I am sad for the children of Gaza. And I am sad for the family of the Israeli soldiers killed there too.”

> on July 20, 2014 in Sderot, Israel.
Israeli soldiers weep at the grave of Israeli Sgt. Adar Barsano during his funeral on Sunday, July 20, in Nahariya, Israel.

A relative mourns during the funeral of Rani Abu Tawila, a Palestinian who was killed in an Israeli attack, on July 18, in Gaza City.

No matter what your religion or your politics regarding the tragedy in Gaza, I believe my friend reflects the heart of God.

In the Injil (Romans 12:15), we are told to:

“weep with those who weep” – to “mourn with those who mourn.”

On both sides. . .

It is simply compassion.