Encountering the Christ in Israel Part 2

After getting through the border exchange which included a driver and host exchange, we moved on toward the Dead Sea.  A most interesting place.  Google it for all the details.  Nothing lives in it but bacteria, and the fish that do land in there die quickly.  It’s got enough salt in it to kill, well, just about everything, but that salt makes a person so buoyant that once you walk out in it and just fall backwards, you’re floating.  Kick out your feet; splay out your arms; float.  Strange but so fun.

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Me in my Dead Sea floating position

It is the lowest point on earth, thus the song the four of us had to sing:  “We’ve got friends in low places, where we float on the sea and put mud on our faces.”  (Thank you, Garth, for the inspiration.) (I would add the video but can’t figure out how to turn it.  It’s sideways.  Anybody got a little advice about that for me.)

The big thing is to slather the mud from the Dead Sea all over you for the beneficial, uh, bacteria? minerals? salt?  We slathered; we dried; then we rinsed.  My skin did feel very soft, and we were impressed with the end product, whether it was physiological or psychological.  Didn’t matter.  We were at the Dead Sea!  Where my big moment with Jesus was still as dead as the sea.

But we were just inside Israel.  The true footsteps of Christ that I would soon be stepping right on top of was awaiting me.  And my anticipation was mounting.

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Encountering the Christ in Israel (Part I)

Israel.  A country I’ve longed to go to.  A place where many Believers of The Way, The Christ, The Good News, want to go.  It’s a longing from somewhere deep in the soul to  walk where my Savior walked, to see his country, his home.  So when I found out my nephew was going to be part of the worship team on a tour to Israel, I called his mom and said “We’re going.”

Somehow, some way, we were going.  That was her son!  She had to be on this trip.  And so did I.

We got all the finances squared away, got my passport, and began getting emails about the trip:  what clothes to pack and how to pack them, how much money to bring, safety measures to do before and during the trip;  little tidbits of advice as well as important cultural advice.  It was a tour through Living Passages, a company I would highly recommend.  There were four friends going, and we were constantly sending messages back forth via Marco Polo, an app that lets a person video a short message and send it out to an individual or group.  Some were hilarious (Joe’s video, husband of Cindy) and some were a little long-winded that I had to double time to get through (sorry, girls) and some were super helpful or downright laugh-you-silly videos.

The day finally came, and we were off.  We were to catch a plane out of St. Louis and go to Atlanta and catch a plane from there to Paris and from Paris to Amman because we were including a small Jordan trip in there as well.  The big storm that hit Atlanta that evening also hit our plans and knocked us out of flying out to Paris that evening.  After a stressful night and next day, the group got to Paris only to find there were only seven seats on the flight to Amman for eight of the unassigned seat people in the group.

Wes, the pastor, the wild young man that God changed into a quiet, caring, compassionate, wise leader stayed behind in Paris.  The airline was kind and put him in a hotel where he slept for ten hours thus arriving another day late.

Beginning the walk to Petra, the Siq

The Treasury at Petra. Look familiar? https://youtu.be/FkjRaq31dxI

The crack is the corridor, Siq, leading out of Petra.

The long walk to the Siq that leads to Petra Treasury

amphitheater and tombs

So many tombs! These were the royal tombs.

But the whole group was finally in Jordan expecting great things.  At least I was expecting great things, a great movement within me the minute I touched my feet to the land that Moses and Aaron and Jacob and Abraham had walked.

And it was exciting!  It did move me.  Gently.  Appreciatively.  Just not the way I was expecting.  I wanted the Holy Spirit to take me out, knock me on my knees, do something that said “You are walking on holy ground.”

It wasn’t happening.  Ah, but Israel was next.  There is where I had best be ready for whatever was about to happen.