Holy Land 2023 (Seyi)

Renewal will come when release is the only answer to fear.

Yes, the water was very cold. But then you get used to it.

On this third day of Pilgrimage: we started with renewing our baptismal vows at the River Jordan (photo shown above). Next, we made our journey through bus views of Jericho and had a walking journey in Jerusalem that followed the Palm Sunday route (where I really felt the pilgrim feelings). We ended our night in Bethlehem with the moving and inspiring story of Daoud and his Palestinian Christian family’s perseverance to hold on to their rightfully owned land. Their story spans 30+ years; it is still in progress. (https://tentofnations.com/)

As for me personally: I started my day with an uncharacteristically very early morning run to see the sunrise. I also figured out why the birds seemed so loud in the morning: I found one of them singing away at the stairway near my door.

If I had to use one word to describe this day, then it would be…


3/7/2023 10:45 pm

Dear Renewal,

You are the promise hidden from anxious breath as time runs through my lungs. Longing left you ages ago. Lightly the day starts pregnant with potential. Nightly it reconciles death, as midnight draws a circle around the hour. But you are bound by no clocks, no bells, no regrets. You are there when disappointment has left me in cauliflower fields to harvest apricots. You hold my hand when it grips for yearnings with frightened fists and torn finger nails. As I collapse into caves carved into Jericho’s mountain, you pull me away from the Lion of Darkness who seeks to devour me. Renewal, you will come when release is the only answer to fear. And so you find me, again and again.

As I stood in the River Jordan, feet anchored on silt and legs free from boredom of pants, I felt your energy rush to golden sky through my rusted crown. Sealed with fate’s intentions and thawed in oil, my forehead rested in surrender to your voiceless words; my clasped hands opened their trembles to your warmth.

I know not the destination of this train. I only know that God stays with me in the car, even when all mirrors sing lonesome songs to my soul. You, Renewal, are the station that we return to after my failed attempts to design the next train stop.

Sometimes I wonder when my destination will arrive. I am overcome by emptiness as others leave their train cars at stops where I long to disembark. But that is not my journey; I remain aboard. Then I hear God’s voice over the Conductor’s speaker. He tells me: “You will be okay. You are okay.”

And that is how I know that it is you. You are the next stop.

D.D.D. (Done Designing Detours)

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