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Israel took the noise right out of me. I tend to be a noisy person. I love to talk and respond to everything around me. I guess that is why I blog, so I don't fill the air with so many words. I found myself not even wanting to talk, when I was in Israel. I was overpowered by my surroundings. I didn't even know how to respond. There were the ruins from thousands of years ago, the palm trees, olive trees and vast deserts, the Mediterranean, and the Dead Sea. The variety of things, things I had not seen, quieted me. I just wanted to be by myself, and think, and process.

My group of 8 was experiencing the same thing. We went a hundred million places with a gazillion informational talks. OK, it just seemed like a million. I exaggerated. We met in the evening a few times to decompress in spite of low energy, and gave our impressions of how God had met each one of us that day.

There were many "holy" places, but God was meeting us in the few quick moments each of us had to be alone just with him. He met with one in a bus seat between locations, and another in the bathroom, and with me, it was waiting in crowded lines. It's not that he wasn't speaking to us at his birthplace, and in the Jordan River. Jesus was in every part of our lives, emotions ebbing and flowing. It was mostly in the quick moments when each of us found ourselves alone in short moments. I find this interesting. God evidently wants to meet one on one with us in the still times.

As I listened to the tour guide speak, I was enthralled and my mind went way beyond in between and during her following sentences. One of the times,I lagged, I became lost. It was at the wailing wall. I had been told to never lose track of the group. This messed up the schedule. OK, I was found 15 minutes later. It had caused a stir and I felt bad. From then on, I placed myself close to the front where the guide was.

"Is Laurie here?!"

This was stated more than once, by members of our group. I guess I wasn't being loud enough, because I was there, tucked in the middle of the group as much as possible and not at the back where I had been dawdling in the days before.. Well I guess being quiet and thinking made me diminuative. I guess, in the long run, I felt valued not only by God, but others.