Holy Land 08: A Mosaic

It's time to begin unpacking some of my pilgrimage with you--and where better to begin than at the beginning? After 14+ hours of flying from Denver to London and London to Amman, Jordan, I arrived to find that my luggage didn't! This was a practically stretching experience for me, as I needed it to arrive within 24 hours, or I'd be sans clean clothing for the next two weeks (there's no way Israel would let an unaccompanied piece of luggage cross the border). Thankfully, my suitcase arrived at the last minute the evening before we left Jordan--and I was very grateful to God, believe me (and so were my traveling companions, I'm sure...).

Our pilgrimage began in a most strategic way: across from our hotel in Madaba lay the famous Madaba map, the oldest map of the Holy Land, a mosaic from the mid-sixth century AD (see picture above). Viewing the map, we learned that it is actually more of a pictograph, teaching stories from the Old and New Testaments. What was so perfect was that this mosaic laid out for us the whole Holy Land and gave us a wonderful orientation for the next two weeks. Furthermore, the Madaba map reminded us that the Holy Land isn't just Israel, but it's also Jordan, Palestine, and even Egypt and parts of southern Lebanon! We were set to begin our pilgrimage in the footsteps of Moses, Joshua, and the Israelites. Exciting beginnings!

Stay tuned...

Hey Friends,
I'm back from our two-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land and, now that my bags are unpacked, I'm also eager to unpack the experience with you! What with three countries visited, almost 500 slides taken, countless bowls of hummus consumed, this is no small story to share!

Actually, the trip was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, inspiring and depressing, ancient and modern, grueling and relaxing, hopeless and hopeful, poignant and profound. I suspect the best way to get the story across will be in little snippets, with themes and impressions shared in bite-sized pieces. So stay tuned--and now that I'm getting over jet lag a bit, hopefully I'll have energy and time to begin the tale.

More to come!