Sleep will not stay… why am I up, up, up, when I want nothing more than to be down, down, down buried in a blanket with a fluffy, down pillow enjoying peaceful unconsciousness-ness. If that is a word… Well, its my new word now…
As I stumble down the stairs and walk out onto the patio, I am greeted in by the silence of a creamy, full moon. My mind sleepily wanders 320 miles away to a small storage shed containing the leftovers of our old life. These mementos aren’t much; a bed and dresser, my Mom’s old hutch and farm table that I couldn’t bear to send to auction, a curio and grandfather clock that we totted for years around the world, red colonial china given by my Mother-in-law for Christmas dinner, boxes of silvery wine glasses meticulously cocooned for my daughter’s wedding, a couple of chairs, and far too many boxes of books – I just couldn’t part with them… Not much, really. Yet,every piece reminds me of 40 years of family life. I should be happy to be reunited with my leftover memories, and yet I am sad. I dread the upcoming trip and the U-haul miles. A fancy room is booked to cheer and to comfort the journey, but it has not brought the joy and excitement my fellow travelers anticipate…
Maybe, just maybe my heart still lies in Israel. I miss it. Jerusalem – the beloved city-my beloved city.
I miss the rolling hills full of olive trees, heavily laden with next season’s crop.
I miss seeing our neighbors Canaan dogs (the oldest breed of dog in the world, btw) running and barking up and down the hills.
I miss the aromas of fresh yeasty challah bread, just out-of-the-oven, steamy-hot, with spicy hummus bought from the vendors in the old city or the souq.
I miss the wildflowers scattered among the rocks.
I loved driving to work, passing the citadel, the wall, the Jaffa gate and praying for the peace of Israel, which of course can only happen with the salvation of all Israel.
O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psa 130:7-8)
I remember one day when we had an afternoon off, we walked along the promenade in the shade just weeks after my leg cast was removed, feeling so blessed, so very blessed.
I deeply miss our patio meals after the long, long, day of hard physical labor in the gardens,
relaxing, lounging, with juicy, plump grapes, fresh bread, baba ganoush,
watching the sun disappear behind the canyon walls.
I miss the laughter while struggling with Hebrew and Arabic pronunciations… never quite on point. Or visiting the temple mount with our two archeology/adventure-seeking buddies, praying and imagining these ancient stones shouting praises during Christs’ triumphal entry.
But most of all, I will miss work. I miss weeding, caring for the gardens.
I miss making coffee and talking with people about Jesus These thoughts make me very happy and very sad.
So today, if you too are happy and sad, I will pray for us this prayer….
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13)
A Song of Ascents: Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. (Psa 130:1-6)