My daughter wrote me that she is glad to have me home and is anxious to hear about my trip. I am glad to be home as well. I can’t imagine what more I would have learned had I been able to stay longer in the Holy Land. If I had stayed after the course was over, as some of my sojourners did, I would have had to launch out on my own and this 71-year-old homebody from central Minnesota would not have had the chutzpah to make her own way around no matter how curious she is.
The experience that St. George College offered was clearly Christian, as one might have expected from an Anglican school. But I really wanted to know more about Jesus than was presented from a Christian’s perspective. I wanted to explore the Jewish Jesus, for example, but we never visited a synagogue or made use of Jewish ritual in our prayer experiences even though this is what Jesus would have done. It feels to me like a huge chunk of who Jesus the man was.
The other thing I felt a loss is any knowledge of the natural environment in the Holy Land. I found that no one could answer my questions about the birds, for example. What is that bird that flaps it wings with such grace that it reminds me of “lovely hula hands graceful as a bird…”? And that other bird that flies for a while, then stops in mid air and hovers like it thinks it is a hummingbird or something? The esteemed professors looked at me as though I were a child, cute, but please quit interrupting the important discussions we are having. Why did I care? Because Jesus would have cared! He would have noticed the hummingbird wannabe and talked to a child about it. He would have flapped his arms like the wings of the graceful bird when he danced.
That is enough of my complaining. I will try in the days to come to share some of the wonderful things I learned while in Israel. Did I have any special spiritual experiences? I did, but not what you might think.
Today I am about regrouping, taking up the life I left behind. I am on my last load of laundry and have to leave shortly to go to town for a meeting about a fundraiser I was working on and have to get back to. This is my life – highs and lows and all that is in between.