A Holy Land Dream – Just about a week after my supernatural salvation, like a dream I found my feet firmly planted in Jerusalem, walking the Old City, visiting the places of Jesus and His birthplace of Bethlehem.
Nancy my dear friend who had taken the Florida ‘Flight of Salvation’ with me as I first encountered Jesus, happened to work for the airlines. When I told her what had happened in the church and the story of the angel Uber driver (See Salvation Testimony), she declared that we must go to Israel right away! and arranged free airline tickets for us to go.
One thing unfolded after another to get us there, I was feeling the presence of Jesus so strongly with me all the time, it made perfect sense that I would soon find myself walking the ancient stone streets of Jerusalem’s Old City with Nancy.
It seemed as if Jesus was guiding every move, even down to the hotel. How would we find a place to stay on such short notice? searching online I was drawn to a beautiful 18th century Cathedral that served as a hotel just outside the Old City, in its barest of simplicity the divine beauty shone through. I prayed for a room to be available, and there we stayed.
Photo: Arriving at St. Georges Cathedral Guest House Jerusalem
From the moment I laid eyes on Jerusalem, the color of the stones which almost everything is built from, the sky, being in the divine ether of the Holy Land, it was if I had arrived home.
It was late by the time we were all checked-in, starving after a very long flight from Newark to Tel Aviv, then traveling from there to Jerusalem, we decided to venture out to find the Old City and food. Walking the city streets we found our way by asking locals for directions, finally we arrived at one of the entry gates to the Old City. To be standing in this ancient sacred history was mind blowing, stepping through the gate to the inside of the enclosed 0.9 kilometer city was literally like crossing a threshold into another timeline. With all my world travels I had never seen anything remotely like this.
We made our way past delicious smells of ancient bakeries while peeking in the miniature shops, at last finding a nice spot to settle and eat. Our dining view was comprised of the Israeli military as we sat outside for our first local meal, the Israeli food was delicious regardless of the sign in the window.
Despite traveling to Israel with no plan whatsoever we navigated with the utmost of ease, the right person would appear at the right time to show us exactly how and where to go. Being in the Holy Land without a plan created a ‘letting go flow‘ of faith which allowed God to take the reins.
Being in the Holy Land without a plan created a ‘letting go flow‘ of faith which allowed God to take the reins.
Each Holy place we visited seemed more and more incredible, I felt a reverence of such immense magnitude.
Photo: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Church of the Resurrection) – Located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City – One of the sites known as Calvary or Golgotha where it is believed Christ was buried and resurrected. The Via Dolorosa – The Stations of the Cross (The Final Passion of Jesus – Footsteps of Christ) lead here. There is an indescribable peace inside of this building.
Heading to the Church of the Nativity would bring us on the pilgrimage road entering into Palestine and arriving in Bethlehem. A rebuilt church from the original church built in 339 AD over the cave where Jesus is said to have been born. As we went down the narrow ancient stairs, I just could not fathom we were actually there, turning the corner there in a small space in the stone lied the silver Bethlehem star, marking the place where it is believed the Son of God was made flesh. How could it be that we actually got to linger there, to touch, kneel and sit in this Holy place.
What a moment in time.
Photos: Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem
Well what could be more amazing than what we had just experienced, but we had another place to visit, the Dead Sea.
Nancy’s back pain had been bothering her for a long time, we knew we had to make a visit to the Dead Sea which is long known for its healing waters. As we traveled out of Jerusalem by taxi, the city gave way to desert, this was not your typical Arizona or New Mexico landscape, this was extreme barren desert, like we had never seen before. Wondering if we were in the right place in the middle of absolute nowhere, the taxi driver dropped us off and assured us we had arrived at the Dead Sea. But could this be the same Dead Sea that borders Jorden by the east and Israel by the west, so close to where Jesus was baptized? As we walked towards where the driver directed us, we found our way to what seemed like a water park on another planet.
Photo: Dead Sea Bar – No Drinks Needed!
The outer worldly planet appearance perhaps comes partly from the fact that it is the lowest place on earth, along with being the most saline body of water on our planet, it’s loaded with salt, so much salt that when you go in the water you actually bounce. Needless to say we found our way into the water, navigating in slowly as we slid and sunk into the super slippery muddy bottom. When we finally got past the mud, we attempted to swim, which had to be the funniest experience because no matter what you do the salt buoyancy causes you to bounce on top of the water, we felt like bouncing babies. The two of us could not stop laughing, looking around we realized everyone else in the water was laughing too.
Photo: The Dead Sea
When we got out of the water we covered ourselves in the mud which is known through the ages for its therapeutic qualities, we looked ridiculous as we laid there covered, which only kept us laughing. What a way to end our trip, with the experience of pure joy, back to feeling like a baby, bouncing in God’s loving arms.
What a way to end our trip, with the experience of pure joy, back to feeling like a baby, bouncing in God’s loving arms.
In five whirlwind days which included travel days to and from Newark, New Jersey, we walked the Old City, rode a camel by the Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane, visited the Church of the Nativity, put prayers in the Western Wall at Temple Mount, swam in the Dead Sea, and walked the Via Dolorosa Stations of the Cross ending up inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Photo: A Camel’s eye view of the Old City
Additionally we took a tour visiting many more Holy Sites, while learning the history of Israel’s numerous conquests. The precious Holy Land claimed over and over by countries, empires and religions, leaving the hearer in disbelief as to how it could all be still standing through the ages.
Reviewing all this as we headed home, once again just like the Salvation day in NYC, it seemed as if time had done another slow dance in God’s hands.
To say the whole trip was dream-like could never capture the epic nature of what I was experiencing, knowing Jesus had led me there, living in what felt like a supernatural state of perpetual awe.
Upon returning from Jerusalem it seemed as if my hunger was insatiable for learning everything possible about the history of the God who reached in and Saved me. It was all I wanted to do, just learning with Jesus leading the way…
האהבה לא תבל לעולם אך
LOVE NEVER FAILS
Photo: Jerusalem Old City – Ancient Church Doorway – The doorway to His love awaits