How do you process something as enormous as Israel? I’m finding the answer is that I can’t. There are glimpses and moments where I understand some small echo of the huge of amount of information we learned, but it’s impossible to begin to describe to you the way it changes my thinking about life, the Bible and the biblical prophesies that have been fulfilled and those that are yet to come. Foremost, I feel as though seeing the historical sites (whether they were A: absolutely the right place, B: possibly the right place, or C: most likely not the right place) have cemented the truth and reality of the Bible. I’m trying to think of an analogy, but nothing is really coming to mind. Ok, try this. It’s like reading about the Grand Canyon and learning details about certain places; forming pictures and visuals in your mind or looking at photographs in a book (or online in today’s world). All of that study and those pictures and daydreams can not adequately prepare or compare to seeing the Grand Canyon in real life. Those “hills” the shepherds are watching their keep on when the heavenly host appears to them proclaiming the birth of the Messiah? They’re not gently rolling hills. They’re rugged, full of rocks, steep in places and oddly much different than what I was imagining. The Sea of Galilee? Where Jesus walked and calmed storms and changed a few select fisherman’s lives forever? I’ve been on that lake, and danced the Hava Nagila on a boat out in the middle of the sea. It’s unreal. It’s like no place else on earth.
And I want to go back.
I would LOVE to go back, spend more time there, get to know more of the locals in Jerusalem. Take an entire year to read the Bible in chronological order, breaking for an afternoon spent wandering through the Jewish quarter, eating my weight in falafel and sipping on fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. Color me happy.
What I want you to know about Israel is that I can’t possible describe it to you. Suffice it to say: you need to go there. It will take hold of your heart and open your eyes to the scriptures in a whole new way. It’s almost too much to bear. But I love it.
I’m wishing for some of that fresh pomegranate juice right now. My orange peach mango juice will have to suffice. I’m off to bed so that I can get the house looking presentable again. I came down with bronchitis last week and pretty much lost the will to keep things clean and organized in the last week. Today was the first day I had any sense of energy return and I went a little nuts cleaning and shopping and wrapping the last few gifts for Christmas. I love this time of year, but I can’t believe it’s almost over already!
These are a few pictures I took on my phone. Mike took somewhere around 2800 pictures with his camera. Gulp. Can’t wait for that slideshow. Not. We will drastically reduce that number before we try to go through and show people pictures. Can you imagine? That would be the world’s longest slideshow ever.