Day 1: New Testament Narrative
August 19, 2012
Exposure Phase, Israel/Palestine, Learning Lab, Participant Reflections, Uncategorized
The Global Immersion Project is currently on the ground in Israel/Palestine and each day a participant in our Learning Community will post a blog reflecting on their learnings and experiences. Todd Rubie leads off the blog series and is a brilliant mind, deep learner and one who is passionate about integrating learning into his everyday life and practice. Enjoy!
Stepping out of our hotel in east Jerusalem our team pushed through the growing heat and crowed streets toward the Old City, the focus of our day was the New Testament narrative. It was truly exciting to walk the walls of the Old City, climb the Mount of Olives, and sit in the Garden of Gethsemane, and for the first time in my life see, feel, and place feet upon the grounds in which the stories I have heard so many times actually took place. As I walked the walls I couldn’t help but face the realities of both old and current narrative colliding right before my eyes. As we moved along the wall from west to east Jerusalem the stark contrast between the two sides was unmistakable. I was struck by the fact that as I looked up at the Mount of Olives I could see both a Palestinian village and an Israeli settlement on either side of the place where Jesus prayed for peace for Jerusalem.
One experience that helped inform both the current narrative of this land and as well as the biblical/historical, was my time at the Wailing Wall. I was overcome not only by the sheer size of the wall but also of the rich and deep devotion of the people coming to pray at its foot. As I made my way closer to the wall I could see the ever changing levels of stone marking the strands of time, new built upon old, stretching up into the sky. Stepping even closer still, the prayers written on bits of paper came into focus, and their placement so purposefully in the cracks of history. This tangible representation of life, place and history so beautifully woven together was one like I had never seen. Standing in silence trying to take it all in I couldn’t help but be drawn into it myself. How am I embedding my life into the cracks of the present history in which
I have been placed? This question resonated in my mind as I examined the different prayers placed in the wall. I noticed that some were stacked loosely upon the prayers of others, some had fallen off the wall and onto the ground, and then there were prayers that looked as though they had become a part of the stone in which they were placed. These prayers, with the help of the elements, had so rooted themselves in the cracks they had been placed in, that they had become part of the wall itself.
My hope and prayer is that this journey would not just be about the current geo-political narrative or the rich biblical history of this place but that we would all, like the prayers, be so deeply rooted in place that we become part of the wall and as we step deeper into our true identity through the lens of our creator restoration would be found. As we find our place in the narrative that God is unveiling before us, may the cracks be filled.