Israel is on the news along with all the conflicts that rise up around and in it. It is situated in the midst of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq. I struggle to understand all the boundary issues, the uproar of war and on and on. But Israel, specifically, Jerusalem, is THE place, THE jewel, is where history hinges. All time hinges on what happens there.
I was faced with an opportunity to go with a group from the Garden at Gethsemane. I decided to take the leap, because I like adventure and I knew a couple of people who were going. I was told it was safe. Tourists are treated well and it is a happening place. It is the place where in one big walled city, there is room for Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. It is a holy place for all the sects and religions who have built churches there over ancient times. There are chapels for Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Franciscans, Coptic Christians, and so on. There are so many differences and oftentimes conflict, be it between individuals, or groups.
Only a part of history was alot of words spoken by Tamar, our guide. There is layer upon layer of history and building there from 4000 years ago. It was more than words. I saw with my own eyes the places Jesus was, from the Sea of Galilee, to Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. High points for me were visiting Masada with its huge fortress in the desert, the Dead Sea, and the Jordan River at multiple points.
My eyes and ears sensed alot. I wrote in my notebook when I was on the bus and before I would go to bed or get up in the morning.
Now it is time to sort out what I'm left with. My journal is sitting in front of me. There are some facts, but more importantly, my thoughts, and a narrative of how my heart beat with each new discovery, and the climb of my spirit to reach out for more wisdom and understanding, and things I learned about myself and how I relate to God and others. Today is the beginning of a new series of blogs on The Holy Land. I am sharing it for any one who wants to read it.