Israel Reflections

Miscommunication can have delicious results. I was commissioned to retrieve supplies for breakfast. As I sauntered (in my PJs) up to the first bread vendor I could find, I mumbled the words “Pita. I need 10” and flashed a bill worth 100 shekels. Our team awoke to the pleasant surprise of 10 small, hot pizza’s.

This trip has taught me the value of improvisation. Making what you have work for the situation you are in. My friend Charles Ciepiel once told me “never underestimate the resources around you.” Each day God challenges me to discover the power of this proverb. There are many situations were people are convinced they are powerless because they aren’t creative enough to use the resources around them. Jesus modeled helped his disciples realize the resources God put in their midst.

blog2.jpgOur team is drawing closer to each other. Yesterday after work we dined at the apartment of our new friends Janelle Zook and Bethany Rieff. Bethany made incredibly good lasagna and apple pie. During the dinner preparation Dave arranged a video conference call to the Franconia Conference Office. This call, though it was short and tough to hear what people were saying, really affected me. As I saw many of the conference leaders huddled around the computer wtih funny expressions on their faces, I felt something. It was hard to pinpoint. I had one of those moments that I knew would stick in my mind for eternity.

The older I become the more I feel as if time and relationships become a unified material that quickly slips though my fingers like sand. As a photographer I look at a lot of pictures. Within every picture is a piece of time that can’t be recovered. Every photo is like a fossil record that begs me to step inside and live out that moment until I tire of it. This is why people love pictures. They are given illusion of controlling a moment. There are many experiences our group has shared that I wish I could freeze and pack in my bag.

blog1.jpgThis place is not as foreign or inhospitable as people imagine it to be. In the midst of doing my laundry in a bucket I realized that it is possible to live without a permanent address. Jesus did this, and he challenged others to do this. Taking his words seriously is tough, but not impossible. I would like to thank everyone for your prayers.


5 thoughts on “Israel Reflections

  1. Glad to see your pictures-Miss you very much.
    Happy to know you are learning many lesson and also still eating!!!(Pizza for breakfast????)
    We’ll have to try the laundry in a bucket!!!!

  2. This is a NON-automated reply – your post has been read. And appreciated. Especially the relationship/time and no permanent address bits. Likely 99% of what we think is important will look hugely silly some day soon!

  3. Thanks for your reflections, Tim! We miss you here at home and hope to see you soon. God’s richest blessings to you and your companions.

  4. What a pleasant surprise it was to be on the receiving end of that call! I must confess that in the midst of that moment I could not think of much very intelligent to say or ask, and later wished I had found a way to plumb more depths of your experiences. I guess that can happen when you get home. Regardless of the depth, it was good to hear from you and pretty cool to tell folks that I talked to folks in Nazareth… and not Nazareth, PA! 🙂 (It was also funny to, at that distance, connect that Kate had been to my house for dinner!)

    Blessings on the rest of your time. Keep open, absorbing, and reflecting on all that you see and hear. Try not to fall into the rut of normalcy but to live in the tension of just what a unique experience you are having.

  5. Tim–Great reflections. Sorry I missed the call at the Conference Center. Surprise, I was somewhere else. What does it mean when as my favorite Snow Patrol quote suggests, “all of these places feel like home?” It seems a bit of what following in the way of Jesus might be about. And what does it mean to then fall in love with those people and places? Hope that’s happening in Nazareth and in Jerusalem this weekend, too.

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