Thanks for popping by my blog – and I hope you enjoy reading a bit about life here in Jerusalem!
This morning I was waiting for some stuff and a Jewish friend of mine was there. We started talking and as we looked out over the Jewish Quarter she asked me the same question she has asked me a half dozen times before; “How can you live here?”
She is baffled by the fact that I have lived here so long when I could be living in America building a personal empire. Admittedly living here it is not always easy, nor is it a spiritual utopia. But it has been my home for the last 15 years.
She was coming from the perspective of what I might have had if I were in America – material possession. This reminded me of a story a Catholic Priest told me just two days ago. It goes like this:
A guy was climbing a desolate mountain and came upon a cave high up near the summit. It appeared to be a dwelling place. He called out to see if anyone responded – and someone did!
It was a hermit (a monk) who greeted the traveler and gave him some cool water. The curious climber asked the recluse how he lived up on the mountain. He said “Simply.” “Do you have electricity up here?” asked the man “What's that?” replied the old monk. “From where did you get this water, do you have plumbing?” “No, I get my water from the spring down below and bring it back up here”. Perplexed the climber asked with a chuckle, “So I guess you don't have a microwave either… how can you live here?”
The monk then asked the man, “Do you have all these things?” The man said, “Yes.” “May I see them?” asked the monk thinking they were in the mans backpack. “Well I don't have such things with me, they are in my house and in my office”. “Why not?” asked the monk?
The man said, “Of course I don't have them because I am just passing through.” “So am I.” replied the monk.
I don't spend my days in prayer and contemplation as monks do, nor do I have accumulated wealth. But I have all in Christ.
Living in Jerusalem with all its tension, history, and yes – beauty too, reminds me that in this same special place Jesus walked, talked, and served the people of His day with a message.
I can still hear it – because these sacred stones still cry out. It's a word of preparing oneself for the next life, instead of living for the things of this world.
That's why I am living in Jerusalem.
We'll see you again on Thursday friends!