“Exit Strategy” (book seen below) is now available at most e-book venues.
How will I make way to the Wall. There are thousands of Jewish believers crowding the plaza. It is Shabbat in Jerusalem, after sunset Friday night and their Sabbath has begun.
I was told this would be special. It was! From blocks away it can be heard. As I enter the plaza, to my right are Jewish women, separated from the men having a celebration of their own. Singing and dancing unto the Lord, there are hundreds maybe thousands of them.
Scanning across the football sized field of men I see a covering of black hats and coats. It is a blanket waving, undulating with life. The men are singing and dancing as well, some in large clusters here and there, holding hands in circles. Many around the edges of the crowd are reading their scriptures as they rock back and forth.
They are greeting each other dressed in their finest clothes and great hats known as Shtreimel’s. As I understand it, men wearing these hats are married, and can be Hasidic or of another Jewish tradition. They look like a fur covered hat box in shape, except there is no box. They are a series of tails, gray fox or sable tails hand crafted into a circular form with a slightly flamboyant appearance. They are like a crown, which explains the look. Underneath this you will always find a “kippah” which appears to be like a Yamaka. Two head coverings suggest an additional spiritual merit.
So, why am I in Jerusalem? Why does any follower of Jesus Christ make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem? I am searching for something from God. Better, I am offering something to God.
I am offering the soul and the life of a man to God, again. I am coming to the city of the great King, to bow at a place like no other. Maybe I am no different than the person’s that travel across state to see Benny Hinn, but I come not to see a man.
In two days it will be 5 months since losing my Janis. She and I dreamed and had planned on coming here but did not get to. I come because she would have wanted me to. I come to offer myself and the rest of my life to Him who gave me a life.
One might ask, “Haven’t you done that already?” Of course I have. In the last 5 months the trauma’s in my life both emotional and physical have been many and painful. I have praised God “through it all” as the song goes. I brag not but boast in His grace, that I would be so able.
So now, as the course of my life is changing, my destination has not. What better place to speak again of willingness, wanting to be used even more; besides, now there are two in heaven that I want to please. Two that I want to make proud.
In the cool of this May night, now only 75 yards away is the Wall, a place of holy reverence in this great city. Tradition has it that the ear of God is behind it. Do any of us want the ear of God? How about every day! Whatever one might think, I am here and I am spiritually and emotionally invested in making my way there. This throng of believers left little room for a Goyam (a non-jew.) Would they be insulted at this invasion of their event? “You must cover your head” my companion said. These people prepared well. Yamaka’s (white one’s not black) were free to take including a bobby pin to secure it.
There is a ramp wide enough for a truck leading in and out of the plaza. Like blood coursing through veins, souls filled this two-directional area. It was daunting to think more than a few steps ahead. Then I saw my opportunity.
A Jewish man and his small son were making their way in. I fell in behind them. We moved steadily through the crowd, left then right. In my looking at the men and listening to their words, their gestures only understanding morsels of expression, I lost my guides!
Oh God, I don’t want to wander into some group’s gathering and make them angry. There were clusters of men some had even brought chairs and little tables to read scriptures from.
“Go left.” the Spirit said, “Keep going left.” I did. There they are! From behind me and to my left, the man and his son immerged! That boy was leading his dad (and I) with determination. The little guy was scouting the path to our mutual goal. Thank You Lord.
Suddenly I was ten or twenty feet away from the Wall. Many were filling the areas against the wall. Most had scripture in hand, reading as they rocked back and forth, the curls along their faces swinging back and forth also.
I am looking, moving left, looking, and then it was like the parting of the red… a place was made vacant. My emotions rose to a peak, I had been singing in the Spirit almost all the way there. I stepped up to within inches, I am feeling the heat of my own breath against the Wall. I look up and it is like God is towering over me and yet I am welcome at His feet. I have praised Him as I made way. Now, He is listening.
I spoke thanksgivings too numerous to mention ending with Janis, His most precious gift to me in this life. I felt no rebuke at not mentioning Christ is first. By now, He knows that and was sensitive to my need. He is Understanding, He is Mercy, He is Grace. I found myself in tears the entire time I was praying. What can I say?
I had my hands against the wall as high as I could reach, my cheek and nose not concerned at the rough stone when I saw something I had heard about. Little pieces of paper where wedged into little clefts in the rock. Oh God, I have no paper, or pen.
It was then I remembered the tissue I carried. I took some out pausing momentarily, I tore off a small piece and then wiped the tears from my face. I found a cleft right in front of me and made a home for my tear soaked message. There was more meaning in those tears than I could ever have written.
I thanked God as I turned to find another soul waiting his opportunity to be heard.
You are loved, He waits,
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