Holy Land 2023 (Penny)

The Ineffable

On Friday afternoon, when we were due to leave the house and head to SeaTac, I remembered that my EFM-Grads book group would be meeting a few days after our return. I threw the next selection into my bag, hoping I could read enough on the plane to join the discussion. Then, as we were on our front walkway, heading to the car with my suitcases, the mailman handed me our bundle of mail for the day, including the quarterly Rubric. My reading material for the pilgrimage was set.

Since there was time to spare yesterday before launching for our road trip to Petra, I returned to the nearby garden at St. George’s (Anglican) Guest House. If you count coffee hour after yesterday’s Eucharist at the neighboring cathedral plus an afternoon visit during free time, this was my third visit (who needs more shopping when you’ve found church?) After ten days of group travel, I was ready for the quieter daytime rest, reading and writing alone outdoors in a park-like setting.

The chapter I read, titled “God,” explained the names used for God in the Judeo-Christian tradition, including YAHWEH, YHWH, G-d, etc. Talk about complicated. I am reminded of my preferred name for the Divine, “The Ineffable,” that which is too great to be described in words.

Having recently crossed the Israel/Jordan border at the King Hussein crossing—a process that is also too great to be described in words, I am grateful:

…for my friends, especially this circle of nine pilgrims,

…for water,

…for our Jordanian driver, Mohamed, and guide, Zaid,

…for my US passport that lets me travel freely,

…for cash in my pocket and finally

…for delicious take-out chicken shawarma.

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