Jerusalem

candles in the wind

If you believe in a God, where do you feel closest to that divinity?

Is it when you are at home with your family where you give and receive love? Is it when you are out in nature, at one with your surroundings? Perhaps it is when a base note of a cello hits that nerve in your heart and involuntary make you weep. I feel calmness when I am in the ocean. The man I saw today feels closest when he rubs his callused face against The Wall.

Like with so many stories you hear when you are a child, there was one place I was absolutely petrified of when I was a boy, without having ever been there. It was not a house on Elm Street. The way the Bible described the place made me think it was the most spine-chilling place on Earth. I never thought I would actually set foot at the Calvary.

The Armaic name of the place is carved into a marble arch and the moment I see the name, the light that fills the room starts to gloom, and I see it go from light to dark. Like stepping out of the blue and into the black. Childhood fear fill me, but not for long. The burning candles and gold plated lights offer some visual comfort, hinting toward salvation.

We don’t stay long. There was too much suffering that happened here at Golgotha.

The wooden door that leads into the Holy Sepulcher has seen many enter and leave. I see pilgrims from far and wide lay hands and offers on the Stone of Unction. Some people cry. It’s not that hard to cry here. People queue for days to say prayers at Jesus’ tomb. People, all just normal people wanting to be closer to their God.

In Jerusalem I hear footsteps on old cobble stone paths and wonder if maybe I walked in the footsteps of the Messiah. I see orthodox Jews, devout Christians and pious Muslims all sharing a small space. It can be done. We are all people, just normal people, wanting to be close to what we believe is divine.

Golgotha

door to holy sepulchre

Door to The Holy Sepulcher

rabbi

harp player

temple ceiling

ordinary men bw

western wall and gold dome mosque

devoted

prayers in crevices

Written Prayers at the Western Wall

man and wall

rabbi and soldier

soldier praying

close to God

What I see at The Wall

 

Man with green uniform and gun praying for peace,

His hands touching The Wall

But who knows, maybe he is asking to bring upon his enemy a disease

Next to him man with black hat and black robe stands tall,

His whispered words silently falling onto The Wall

Man with torn clothes writes his prayers on stained paper

Carefully placing it, he found a small crater

His face kissing The Wall

The weight of the prayers couldn’t bring The Wall down, not now not ever

It is a short barricade between Man and Creator

I too touch The Wall

And wonder

How many pencils have shortened without invocations ever made known

Or, at least for some, a form of rejoinder

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