Inspite of the weather, we had a really wonderful trip and we are indeed friends-fine friends-fine weathered friends. There are always lessons as one travels and I am reminded as I think of our journey of the lesson of letting go. We Americans love to be in control. Such weather conditions and the necessary adjustments to our itinerary are reminders that there are many things beyond our control, but in those adjustments and in the need for patience and flexibility, relationships deepen, humor emerges and memories are made. It is wasted energy to worry about that which we cannot change and besides it is all part of the adventure. I suspect that every one of us has a new understanding of the harsh life of biblical times. One of our travelers made the comment that she had never thought of Jesus being cold. Even more current, we see in our minds eye, the Bedouin people who live now in tents and are exposed to the uncertainty and unpredictability in their living of every day. We take our creature comforts so for granted. We also take for granted our freedom and our ability to move around easily without borders and checkpoints.
The weather did not detract from seeing amazing sights and learning remarkable things. Such travel, as this, was transformative and life changing. The distance we traveled cannot be measured only in miles from home. We each traveled distances deep within, to our spirit and soul. Jim Fleming is an incredible teacher and the Bible and the land come alive in his words and way. The lush landscapes of Galilee where Jesus is so easily pictured, a boatride on the Sea of Galilee, the incomparable beauty of Jerusalem, the scents of the souk, praying at the Western Wall, the humble entrance to the Church of the Nativity, the chaos of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre that also echos the solemn melodies of the beginning of Lent, the beauty and quiet of the wilderness, the scrolls of Qumran, the might of Masada, the sheer fun of riding on camels, the mystery of Petra, the baptismal place on the Jordan, and oh so many more resonate with messages and stories which we will be processing for a long time to come.
I conclude with deep gratitude for such a great group of travelers who weathered it all so very and
I share a few final images from days I could not post them
Welcome Tea at the Bedouin Tent
Our Bedouin Host
Doug and Carol, Reathel and Holly, Nancy and Kellun
Cindy and Corry
Chip and Chuck
You can never have too many pictures of a camel
Ashley reading the paper while bobbing on the Dead Sea
Rachel being fitted with a keffiyeh
Departure from Amman in Snow and Fog
An over the banks Jordan River near the site where Jesus' Baptism is remembered
It is Joe again on his head :)
Steve Van Ostran is ordering a burger at Smash Burger at the Newark Airport. It is breakfast as we await our final flight home, but who knows what time it is.
With gratitude for a safe and terrific trip