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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Checking My Baggage

In seven days I will leave for Jerusalem.
I set up this blog to chronicle my sojourn in Jerusalem. But I will not travel to Yerushalayim without baggage. I bring with me religious and theological, social and political baggage. Jerusalem is important to me as a Christian, as a woman who prays in synagogue, as a person committed to inter-religious dialogue, as a woman who seeks peace on the earth in my lifetime, and as an American voter who communicates my desire for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to my elected representatives.
For me as a Christian, Jerusalem is the holy city of my scriptures and not-just-my-scriptures, the place where my God-in-human-flesh offered his life and life's blood for the redemption of all the worlds. It is a place where the best and worst of humanity collide, over and over again. It is a place that has been desecrated by violence within its gates and in its name.
As a partner in inter-religious and multi-faith conversations, I recognize Jerusalem as the ancient capital of biblical Israel and as the contested spiritual center(s) of contemporary Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Jerusalem is also the home and would-be home of women, men and children who want a good life for themselves and their children.
As a citizen of the United States of America, I am represented by my government that spends my tax dollars in support of the State of Israel and to a much lesser degree on humanitarian aid in the Palestinian territories. I care how that money is spent. I vote with that in mind and I write my representatives and bid them vote as I see fit, for what I hope will produce a just peace, with the enfranchisement, dignity and security of all.
I have come to Jerusalem as a pilgrim twice before. I can't imagine not being a pilgrim in this holy place. But this time, I should like to seek a different understanding of the city.
What is it like to live in one place for weeks at a time - forty days and forty nights? Not to visit the pilgrim sites, but to live, think, be - and in my case work and write?
This is some of the baggage I'm bringing with me. With what baggage shall I leave?
And now, as with all of my journeys, I pack and unpack and repack. My baggage is ever with me.

1 comment:

  1. Wil, you have my prayers for your journeying and your staying.