BEAUTY IN TEARS
‘Shams took my face in her hands and started wiping my eyes roughly but lovingly, talking softly all the time. Her hands were coarse and blackened with dirt. It was maybe the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced.
‘Funnily enough I'd been annoyed the night before, because I'd left my makeup in Beirut. The team I was hosting were filming and I didn’t want to be seen on camera without it – yes I’m that vain.
‘Now, I realised why it had happened; if I had been wearing makeup I would have instinctively pulled away. Because I had a bare face I didn't care. All I felt was blessed, because she was giving love to me in the best way she could. As she wiped my eyes she kept saying, 'these tears are precious.'
A PRECIOUS MOMENT
‘Then something else happened that I really didn't expect. She said, 'now pray to your God for me.' I struggled to speak, overwhelmed by a sense of God's presence. Joseph translated whatever it was that I managed to pray. Before I could say amen, she interrupted saying 'I love you so much!'
‘We took pictures of each other on our phones before saying our goodbyes and returning to our vastly different lives. I know that for that short time God joined us together to share something precious.
‘I can only describe it as a sacred moment, and my heart is still breaking over it. All I can do is pray for them and believe that, somehow, God’s love is bigger than the horrible evil of the war here.’