Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 18

During that second trip to Israel, I took a trip to the Galilee, and was very moved by a visit to Capernaum, especially an overlooked site, the probable house of St Peter's mother-in-law. Now, mother-in-law jokes aside, this little, nondescript house/church was renovated and fussed over for centuries before falling into disuse due to the Moslem Conquest(...........tell me again about "imperialism"?) I found that to be very interesting, even though the site is marred by a flying saucer, I mean church, on stilts, built over it.

By far, the most astonishing thing to happen as far as I was concerned, occured on the street in Tel Aviv, on my second weekend. I was staying downtown, near the beach and the U.S. Embassy. As I walked to my hotel I looked down, and there in the street was a palm sized, wooden crucifix. More properly, it had been a crucifix, but the Corpus was missing. What remained was the little silver titulus crucis and the silver wire crown of thorns.

I picked it up in amazement, to find this in the very middle of Tel Aviv! I knew it could be interpreted in two ways. Either the Cross is garbage, so throw it away, or the Cross is treasure, masquerading as trash. I took it to mean the latter, and also I felt something else. I felt it was not only a confirmation for me that I was on the right path, but also that Jesus is intrinsically tied to his native people. He's hidden there, within the Jews in some mystical way. I don't understand it all, but that is what I understood, at the moment I found that cross in the street. I knew at that moment I believed in Jesus beyond a doubt.