8.29.2010

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...

    Her fingers lightly brush across a column, unearthed nearly 2,000 years ago...
    The surroundings are not impressive. The space is about six feet wide, twenty feet long. There are large stones in the ground that serve as the road. She finds herself nearly twenty feet below "normal ground"... at least, that's as much as she can judge. The idea that ancient Israel is literally beneath her feet is a hard concept to grasp. Modern Israel is somewhere above her, though she's not underground. It's dank and smells a bit musty, but this is the City of David, on what used to be the main road leading to the "new" Jerusalem, near the pool of Shiloach. A pool, which, unfortunately, cannot be fully uncovered due to the property it is located under. There is a large mural on the wall which depicts what it could have looked like back in the first century AD. The tour guide, Hannah, explains a few details before they go see the real thing.
    As the smooth texture hits her fingers, her mind suddenly flashes back. An idea, a daydream of a possibility allows a smile to play on her lips. It is possible, after all, that He did think of me here... knowing I would come one day and think of Him.
    They turn the corner and a wide excavation opens up before them, its characteristic stones baking in the hot middle eastern sun. It was here. This is where Jesus sent the blind man after He put mud on the man's eyes. An empty place only 1/4 excavated. No water, just debris. An earthen wall rising up where the Arabic garden stood in opposition, fencing off her view. What must it have been like? Stretching out, a smooth pool cool and refreshing. The wide steps lead down as she tried to picture the scene before her. Tried to imagine what the man must have felt like... dipping down in darkness and coming up to the light. What did he see first? The water? The people? The walls and the hills of Judea? The pillars? The sun?

Did the very sight of sight steal his breath away?

-=-

    There is no possible way to describe to you what it is like here.
    The streets are not lined with gold, though they are sought after unto death nonetheless. The old walls are rough and rich with history. The country is indeed beautiful, but you would be surprised to know that those Judean hills were completely desolate just a century ago. Millions of trees have been planted since 1948.
It's not that it's magnificent or larger than life. It's just life.
    Yet there is mystery here. There is something that draws all the world to turn their heads towards this little strip of land called Israel. It's been said that the center of the world is Israel. And indeed, in ancient times, it literally/geographically was the center of the world. And at its center was Jerusalem. At its center stood the Temple, and the center of the Temple was the Holy of Holies where God sat on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant as Shekinah Glory. In the west they write from left to right. In the east they write from right to left. Something keeps pointing back to His land.
    There is no way to describe it to you. There's no way to explain its diversity, its complexity and its paradoxical simplicity. It's the ancient world wrapped inside the modern world. Somehow, here, they have managed to coexist - accomplishing the impossible.

This is the place that it all took place.
How can I not stand here and be amazed?


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dad here; it is cool to remember that Israel was literally the center of the world in the old days and now - good writing and nice pics

A girl with a smile said...

Glory to God. That's all I can really say.

Candice said...

wow the beautiful words painted such a vivid picture. The thought of Him thinking of you so centuries later you would think of Him is so lovely..So glad you're absorbing each precious moment you are there.

Anonymous said...

I like the quote that Candice liked and I also like your thought of did the very sight of sight take his breath away? I could picture myself there with you pondering what he may have seen first. I love that story and the "blind" man trying to explain what happened to him to the pharisees. It may be unexplainable, but it is undeniable!----Javin

Will said...

these words keep tugging at my heart..

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