I am beginning my second journey in the Middle East as I type this post. I was first here in June of 2013 with a group of young adults who were traveling from the Metro DC Synod of the ELCA. I was able to join them on their journey as an observer and what I saw, heard and felt, changed my life.
The Holy Land has long been a mythical place to me. I am a person of Christian faith and thinking about modern day cities like Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem conjures up images of Jesus and the disciples sharing the radical message that would become the basis of my faith. I am someone who values interfaith dialogue and relationships and the Holy Land always seemed like a utopic place; where those descendants of Abrahamic faith live together. Before coming in June, I was overwhelmed with the thought of walking where Jesus walked, seeing what Jesus saw and of meeting people who were descendants of the heroes and sheroes of my faith. This whimsical, and quite frankly, naive way of viewing my experience was fundamentally altered when I touched down in Israel, Palestine and Jerusalem. Continue reading