|Haifa, first night in Israel|
But, shifting back to my pilgrim mode I have to confess that this trip was remarkable in what it accomplished. The ability to physically be present in the world Jesus knew, where his ministry unfolded, where Christianity was born was priceless. I find that the superficial impacts of visiting new places is always about the immediate experience. Understanding how that experience changes me comes later, oftentimes much later. There are generally just too many things going on during a trip to allow for any kind of meaningful thought processing. Navigating those deeper waters requires time, patience and quiet. Now that we are home I am starting to work through that, and am beginning to understand why this trip was so important. The rough edges are gradually being removed from so many thoughts. For a start, I am obviously reminded how truly thankful I am for the gift of freedom, the separation of church and state, and for the security of peace within our borders. But beyond the obvious, there, gratefully, and more importantly (to me), lies the story of the pilgrim road, our pilgrim road. Let me move onto that in my next post.