Yesterday we spent the day in Jerusalem and the range of emotions I encountered was as vast as the desert itself. There is conflict and peace in equal measure and there is certainly the sense that the scales could tip in an instant. Elad, our private guide, was a gift from the universe as his immense knowledge of the region was coupled with his desire to bring Palestinians and Israelis together in peace... His purpose work mirrored my own and he could not have been a better fit for how I wanted to experience Jerusalem. Plus he sang Coldplay songs to me as we walked the old city, ensuring his spot (in my books) as the greatest guide of all time.
It is a city shaped by the passing of time... Every moment was an opportunity to not only witness history but to also get a sense of culture both past and present. The old city of Jerusalem houses sections for Christians, Jews and Muslims who co-exist in a peaceful but not always respectful way. The top left video is the area around the Dome of the Rock, a beautiful Muslim Temple. While the area around the Mosque is technically open to everyone, some of the Muslims vocalized (loudly) their disapproval of Jewish Pilgrims coming though. From there we wandered to the Christian section where we walked the Via Dolorosa which is the path Jesus walked, carrying his cross, to his crucifixion. While I'm not a Christian, I couldn't help but be moved at the level of emotion that others experienced and must admit there were certain stops along His journey that held a powerful palpable vibration.
Next we visited The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, known to many as the holiest Christian site in the world. Six sects of Christianity govern the site, but at the entrance to the church sits a Muslim doorkeeper who keeps control of the keys of the church to prevent disputes between the Christian sects over the holy site.
The bottom video is a glimpse of the most impactful stops for me on our journey. The Western Wall is the most sacred gathering place of the Jewish faith and is said to be as close as one can get to God.... At the wall there is a dividing line between men and women and each side is full of many people praying, sitting, crying and writing notes to God. Before I inserted my prayer I placed my hand on the wall for a moment and closed my eyes. Immediately an image of a woman's face came to my mind. I'm not sure who she was... Maybe I had touched her prayer placed years ago or maybe she was one of the messengers of God elevating my prayer into the ethers. All I know is that as I placed my prayer something told my heart that my prayer will be granted as long as I did my part in making it happen. And so I shall.
The photo on the right was taken at The Mount of Olives, an impactful place in Jerusalem as it's a site for many biblical events. I celebrate my sister Nichelle who is taking this journey with me. I celebrate her friendship, her powerful place on this planet and her ability to put an out of line taxi driver back into place. Onward.