Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Memorable Faces in Israel

A good friend who is a wife of a pastor, a mom, a grandma, and a godly woman went to Israel with her husband and several others from the church.

Diane is my guest today. I asked her to share with us what impacted her the most on that journey to the Holy Land. She said, and this was an amazing answer: "The Faces of so many people impacted me the most." Of course I wanted to know what she meant by that. Don't you? Here is what she said:

Faces on My Journey
by Diane

The Jewish Women. Jewish women arrived at the Wall every morning and evening to say their prayers, some placed small pieces of folded up prayers in the cracks of the wall next to them. 

Most of their heads were covered, their faces serious. These women carried many concerns and cares in their eyes and expressions. They swayed back and forth holding their prayer books or Bibles close to them. They looked down on the pages or at the Holy Wall as they brought their request upward quietly and reverently.

The next were The Street Vendors. Street vendors were everywhere selling bread, fruit, beads, scarves, necklaces, all trying to make a living. Most of them looked very sad, weary, and even a bit distraught when tourist chose not to buy some of their goods as they passed by.

The Jewish Family on the beginning of Sabbath. At last the work was finished. The family put on their finest and gathered together for the Sabbath celebration. This is one of the times on my Journey that I saw happiness, joy and laughter from the people around us. That night, every table had a small bowl of salt, (zest of life), hard rolls, (life), and a small bottle of wine (Joy). I was curious as to what this meant. Then it happened....the father, seated at the head of the table, stood up and lead the family in a time of scripture, singing, and breaking bread together. We were so blessed to be an observer on this Friday Evening.

The children. One warm, sunny day we ate our lunch in an outside café, enjoying the break from walking and the good food.Local children had just finished their school day and were so happy to be outside in the sun talking and chasing each other in the streets as they headed home. Their faces had not a care in the world. Young eyes big and bright. Happy to be alive. They never seemed to notice us or other tourists. Oh the happiness of a child who is playing outside with friends in the safety of their parents.

The Arab and Jews working side by side to make a living. Some of my favorite places to eat were the small diners on the side streets. The mom and pop shops where everyone, whether Jew or Arab, worked and got along as one people. Men and women figuring out how to feed their family, pay their bills and live with meager income. I saw beautiful faces working through their differences. And—the food was amazing also.

The last group of faces that impacted me were, The Tourist. Yes, I am in this group along with a lot of others visiting Israel. My mouth opened with wonder, my camera shutter clicked faster than the tour guide’s words could have been scribed. I did not want to miss anything.

My journey brought me to the “Holy Land”! A place where my Lord and His followers walked. My head filled to overflowing with so many amazing facts, and sobering, beautiful places. I walked down the Via Dola Rosa where Jesus carried His cross for me a sinner. I can barely breathe telling you about it.

The faces I saw on my journey to Israel had every imaginable emotion. Now that I returned home, I see the same faces right here in the town I live in and venture out every day.

Seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting the special places in the Holy Land, was an experience I struggle to find words powerful enough to express. More important than going to the Holy Land is the question: Are we being a Holy people in our own land?

Diane Shaw
Wife, Grandma, Pastor’s Wife

Thank you, Diane for sharing with us!

 This post has been brought to you by the one word-AHolyPeople.

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