Monday, June 23, 2008

Smatterings of the Holy City

I have been admitted into the inner sanctum of the press room, that holy hushed place of writing and surfing. Matt, anointed once again for this time by the Holy Spirit with the special gift of typing fast and accurately, has written a whole page while I have fussed with my cord, fussed with the baby, dithered over my email, and wondered how on earth to bring into language Any of the past 48 hours.

In a few minutes I will have to pack all this up again and go up for the Opening Eucharist, Archbishop Orombi speaking and presiding. Matt, doubtless, will have it online by its conclusion.

The morning was spent at the Mount of Olives, thousands of pilgrims (one thousand, at least, of us, many more of other countries and denominations) making their way from the top with a clear, pristine, heart rending view of the Dome of the Rock, right smack in the middle of the Temple Courts, down to the bottom to the Garden of Gethsemane.

I was accosted, in the Garden of Gethsemane by a small Canadian woman who told me that 'she was a Kennedy too, are you Irish?'
'My husband is' I lied, well, not totally a lie, he's a Little Bit Irish and a lot bit Norwegian. I didn't tell her that we were Anglican either, felt it would probably ruin her experience of Jesus in the Garden. She admired the baby and then told me reverently how beautiful Ireland is.

Another other thoroughly enjoyable moment of the morning was watching Archbishop Orombi pose for pictures with a whole slew of Chinese pilgrims. I'm not sure if they thought he was part of the landscape, or the package. Matt was dismissive, 'while you were in the church,'he said, 'they all had their pictures taken with the Baby.'

Why these small pass-by-able details?
At the moment of landing, in Tel Aviv, all the thoughts and hopes I had saved up to think of especially on that occasion, all of them fled from my mind and my body and I have only been able to say over and over again and over again, 'My heart is fixed, O Lord, my heart is firmly fixed.' I don't think, in the whole course of my small life, that I have ever been given so enormously great a gift of Gratitude, of Thanksgiving, of seeking the face of Jesus more than my own face.

Bishop Atwood, last night, attributed it to the Holy Spirit-'the anointing of the Holy Spirit in waves across the room' during It is Well With my Soul. There are a thousand small miracles that went into making this one big miracle of all of us being here. It is not even so much that this is the place Jesus walked, or the place he will return to in glory, it is what he is doing in Each Person, the obedience he is working, the gratitude, the joy, the hope, and all through the Holy Spirit, showing us Jesus, drawing us to the Father.

My heart is Fixed, O Lord, my heart is firmly fixed.


Jill C. said...

Wow! Thanks Anne, for telling about some of the little things too. Makes it more real to those of us who are reading along back at "home."

Anonymous said...

Please continue with the "important" reporting--the presence of a living God in the midst of seeming chaos. I love your reporting. Matt, of course, is my first view of what is happening, you are my second for what God is doing.

Could you describe the parables for us catechists who have not been there. I.E. the mustard seed. The sheep fold etc? Maybe you could do a first hand catechist's report on the presentations that could help us enrich the children.

God bless you and keep you well and give you an eye for the unseen.


Anonymous said...

Reading your blog as well as Matt's brings back memories of the time I was in Israel about 13 years ago. Enjoy your time and bask in the holiness of all the land. thanks for your postings.

Martin said...

It would be lovely if you would write more about Jerusalem and the Holy Places and your experience of them and reaction to them. The place is very special and you are there for the first time - do tell us all about it! I am much more interested by that than I am by a conference in a hotel!

Geri said...

Please continue to blog as much as possible and describe your reactions to the different sites. Most of us will never get to see Jerusalem. Thank you for being willing to share your feelings with us. I hope that Baby is good for you and allows you to enjoy the trip.