But just for a quick update before I forget:
Monday we went to
- The Augusta Victoria Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives (The german lutheran pastor there was the wife of the pastor at the Church of the Redeemer in the Old City, which we attended the service of on Sunday)
- The Greek Orthodox Elias Monastery honoring the prophet Elijah. BEAUTIFUL ceiling and walls. Super overlook of Bethlehem, olive trees. and so forth.
- Nebi Samwill; a mosque and synagogue honoring the traditional burial place of the prophet Samuel (though the scriptures say he was buried in Rammah. Rammah? I have too much information in my head in the form of foreign languages that I mix it all up constantly.)
- A few glorious viewpoints where we finally got a little oriented as to where everything was. We could almost see the dead sea. RAD.
I am amazed that I am really here every morning when I wake up.
I sit on my balcony and read about the destruction of the temple, simply look upwards and see the temple mount.
Every night I listen to the beautiful harmony of grand Christian bells ringing the hour, mixing with the sweet sound of Muslim children playing, honking horns, and a delicious breeze blowing through the olive and pomegranate trees.
This is real. It's a city of civilization after civilization, built on top of each other, each fighting for their chance to live and dominate and worship their God. Built and rebuilt, beauty and decay, love and hatred, sacred to so many. Ripped apart time after time, and yet somehow in front of me so amazingly whole.
I feel so lucky to be apart of the glorious chaos.