I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
It was a flight like no other I've experienced.
Security was tight. Lots of questions about purpose of my trip, whether or not I knew anyone else on the flight, and every piece of carry-on luggage was swabbed. I was again pulled out of line for questioning while boarding - maybe they didn't like the almonds in my checked bag or my last name doesn't match my face. Who knows? But I'm thankful for the extra security.
Boarding was chaos. After boarding business class and those needing help, it's a free for all. No organized front to back or back to front. All passengers welcome to board. Noisy, pushy, confusing.
A woman and her young son had been seated in different rows. When asked, I begrudgingly yielded my aisle seat for a middle seat (sigh, 10 hour flight). I did the right thing, but wasn't happy about it.
Also, among many (and I mean many) Jewish men, one couple with a baby refused to sit in their assigned seats. There was a woman already seated in one of the 3 seats and the man refused to sit next to her. I'm not sure of her heritage, but her hair wasn't covered nor did she have a long skirt. After an hour of negotiating (the flight staff was amazingly patient and accommodating), the woman moved and the Jewish couple ended up with 3 seats for the price of two. In my opinion, he was not a particularly good representative of the Jewish faith.
My middle seat became a blessing because the passenger seated in the window seat was a deeply faithful, well informed Jewish woman who was a delight to talk with. She shared her opinions on the Syrian refugee crisis and fears over ISIS, the history, politics and demographics of Israel, and differences between American and Israeli Jewish practices. It was fascinating and I was blessed. (God incident?) I was even able to sleep.
Except for take off and landing, the whole flight was chaotic with people walking the aisles. Evening and morning prayer time with a plane full of Jewish men was especially interesting, almost humorous. Every nook near the lavatories and flight crew's workspace was filled with mumbling, waving, swaying, and bowing. They bind a prayer box around their forehead and a leather strap from it wraps around their right arm like a tourniquet repeatedly down to the wrist. My travel friend explained that the strap supposedly touches veins that run to the heart and represents taking the prayer from the head to the heart. So very interesting. Scripture coming to life.
After all that, I'm in Jerusalem. What site are you most interested in hearing about?
#SeedsOfScripture #Israel #TripOfALifetime @LysaTerkeurst #P31HolyLand