Skip to main content

israel: day one

I sit tonight in a hotel room somewhere in Jerusalem on a sunday night. It’s a far cry from the brown stucco huts and clay-colored buildings of the Jerusalem of from my children’s bible imagination. This is a city, of course. And I sit here with my laptop, a window into the world of search engines and answers to every conceivable question. Just beyond the words I type, above them, is a flat screen plasma television, a window into what entertains this part of the world: shows about football (soccer), gaudy looking talk shows, and scantily-clad dance competitions.

But I am not here to look through those windows. I have ascended in a plane (two of them, actually), to this city, with the full intention of looking through a window into the past, to search for the One who asked unanswerable questions. And so I go to sleep tonight in a modern city, full of all the sights and sounds of a modern world, with a heart set not on answers, but on what is ancient.

Our trip here was rather non-eventful, which is the kind of word you want to use to describe any trip involving flight at incredible speeds miles above the surface of the earth. We all arrived safe and sound in London, and then again in Tel Aviv, and then took the 45-minute bus ride across the country to Jerusalem. We’ve had dinner and are all looking at the prospect of trying to tell our bodies that everything’s normal and we’ll just go to sleep tonight like it was any other night, even though we’ve just traveled halfway around the globe against the current of time. We’re hoping to sleep anyway, and to sleep heavily.

I will try to post as often as I can, but access to the internet here is unfortunately not free, and rather expensive, so we’ll see what happens. Shalom!


Mary said…
im glad that you are safe and sound! enjoy taking in the past...

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …