Proverbs 1:20-21 Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks.
This passage from Proverbs reminds me that wisdom is often gained by direct experience in the wide world rather than from being buried in a book. I was a self-proclaimed pacifist for the first eighteen years of my life. Then I traveled to the Holy Land with a group of young adult Episcopalians. We were accompanied by several Palestinian Christians and listened to their stories of resilience amidst terrifying oppression. My opinions became more nuanced—and more complicated.
I had never once felt my life was under direct threat from anything, much less a years-long armed conflict raging at my doorstep. What right did I have to tell people who experience this daily reality how to conduct themselves? Now, anytime I have the opportunity to go out and seek wisdom in the streets and from the people who live in them, I take that wisdom as a blessing from God.
MOVING FORWARD: Are wisdom and resilience related?