Day 9: Sleepwriting.
by Alexandra Rutkowski
I’ve mastered the art of sleep writing. It really is a skill worth envying. I’m going to try to make this succinct; otherwise, we might get a sneak peek into my sleep-typing talents.
We started the day by sleeping in until 8 am. *Hallelujah angel chorus* Glorious!
Domus Galilaeae. Think Star Trek meets Pro-Israel. Domus Galilaeae is an organization that is run by the Catholic Neocatechumenal Way… so they’re kind of like semi-evangelical Catholics. It’s hard to explain the whole concept. Mainly cause I’m still a little lost with it all. But one thing’s for sure- the people that we met there… they truly do love Jesus, and have a true passion for their Jewish roots. We were given a private tour of their home, and it was a lot like you’d think a monastery would be like. Except this was pretty awesomely modern. You know one of the first scenes in The Incredibles? Edna’s foyer? Yes. That’s exactly what the grand hallway looked like. The best part was our guide was a petite lady with short black hair. Add the blunt bangs and I’d be transported back to my childhood. Anyway, one particular room stuck out- a library. This library was a bizarre juxtaposition of past, modern, and futuristic. It seriously looked like something from Star Trek. The reading room was a transparent dome with a set-up straight out of a sci-fi movie. So legit. Oh yes, and the people kept referring to it as “the way.” (Like the equivalent of the force from Star Wars.) Just added to the sci-fi feel.
We are constantly reminded that everywhere we go, we carry the responsibility of representing Christ to a people who’s only experience with Christians has been one of hatred and forced conversion. We are the only evangelical Christian group that was guided through this religious building, and we carried the Name of Christ with us as we went… as we do wherever we go.
Afterwards, we headed on over to the Mount of Beatitudes, well, all three possible locations. The most popular belief is that it is located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, very near Tagbha. As our group gathered on the top of the mountain, with crowds of people coming and going along nearby paths, we sat down, pulled out a guitar, and just began worshipping God. Michael gave a powerful word and Daniel led us into an indescribable time of worship. I didn’t want it to end. No one did. It was so simple- just our voices offering up praise to our Creator.
What was incredible was that our Jewish tour guide, Ilan (also one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet), was walking around the path and around the mountain and said how beautiful it was that you could hear our worship around the entire mountain. He saw and heard people, Jewish, Catholic, and others, just stop, stare, and talk about how beautiful it was to see us passionately worship God. People were astonished to learn that we were Christians and that something so beautiful could come from us.
I also splashed my feet around in the Sea of Galilee. It was awesome. Just saying.
Next stop: Capernum. Jesus’s home. For the sake of time, I’ll condense this. It was so surreal walking the steps that Jesus walked. We made a quick stop at the remains of the synagogue and at the exact location of Peter’s house. Wow. Now that was just… wow.
After dinner, we had a group meeting, where Michael addressed any questions we might have regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and anything we’ve been exposed to thus far in Israel. At this point in the night, I’m completely exhausted. I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. Michael, I hope you’re not reading this. You were very fascinating, really! It wasn’t you. It was me. Everything started to get blurry and I was half awake the whole time. So embarrassing. Especially since everyone saw. The worst part about it though was my “notes.” I was taking notes on what Michael was explaining to us, and adding in a few things I forgot to put down in my notebook of what we learned and visited. The problem is, when I fell asleep, I was still taking notes. Sleep writing. My newfound skill. Actually, it’s growing fast- this is the second time this week it’s revealed itself. Looking back at it made me giggle. Here’s an excerpt. Try not to be jealous. I know it’s hard, but trust me, if you work at it… you’ll get there too.
“[Insert Arab-Isreali conflict notes here.] Wow. We went to Nazareth, while we were building relationships with the students, Frances, making sure ‘malove. Ha. I love you both so so much. Oh yes, today we slept in until 8 am before we went to the 3 places supposed to be “hint,” that no one heus an about. Everything is so biased! And then today we went to. Wow. I’m so sorry. I’m at a group meeting/lecture and I’m falling asleep, especially.”
That pretty much explains the state of my mind at this hour. Time for some sleep. God bless! Shalom.
^What is left of Peter’s house. That’s the only reason that picture is there. How crazy is that? That’s where Jesus was.