Saturday, June 28, 2008

shabbat shalom from JLM

Well I arrived safely in Israel at about 1am this morning. I had a pleasantly uneventful flight and my friend Oren was waiting for me with a smiling face at Ben Gurion. I have a 24 hour stop in Israel before heading to Istambul tommorrow am.

It has been a great day, actually quite healing for I left Israel about 2 years ago under much more unpleasant circumstance, having to leave much of my things and reserach in Haifa when the conflict with Hezbollah broke out. After a long lie in till after 11am Oren and I went out for a quiet day in JLM. We revisited many of the local spots I toured in 2006. We took in some modern art and saw the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum. Went to Abu Gosh for Lebanese food, and then headed for a walk in Ein Karem. It was nice to feel the cool breeze in the air and the peace in my soul. In Ein Karem we got to visit the Church of St John, which supposedly houses the place where John the Baptist was born. While Oren chatted to one of the Franscicans outside I was able to take a few moments to pray inside. Much was on my mind, friend battling illness, news of a research colleagues death by email this am, my family and memories of stress and strain in 2006. It was great to lay those all down before God in prayer.

After a short stop for sorbet/iced cafe we visited The Levanons, the parents of my friend who housed be during my 2 and abit weeks as a refugee from Haifa. I had brought them a gift from Aggieland and they graciously invited us in for some fresh fruit from their garden and tea and we chatted. It was strange and yet freeing to walk into their house again with it all so familiar views.

Now I am back Oren's falt watching the shabbat sun set and getting ready to re-pack my bags for Turkey. I pray the rest of my trip is filled with such peace and grace as today.


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