Every place has a story, whether it is known or not. The actions of a generation can effect the future of entire civilizations after it. Stories shape our lives, and a have a most significant impact on us.
This has been the feeling that Israel has had on me so far, even though I've only been here a mere 14 hours.
Driving across the country from Tel Aviv to Kibbutz En Gev only took a mere two hours, but it was through places that I had only seen in my mind, and had only put imaginary facets to. It was as if I was driving through Narnia and seeing the lamp post, the Stone Table, and Caer Paravel with my own eyes. Places like that were not supposed to exist outide of my dreams, and yet I found myself overlooking the Sea of Galilee, feeling the wind beat tiny particles of sand into my hair, and the sun baking sign familiar Z of my Chacos onto the tops of my feet.
Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy? (Points for a Queen reference.)
We drove past the ancient site of Megiddo, where King Josiah fell defkingdoms he kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 23:1-30). The Judean hill country is now occupied by the Palestinians. The town of Nazarath is the biggest town in the hills of Galilee. From our dig site, Hippos on Sussita, I can make out the outline of Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36). The Jordan River now forms Israel's border with the kingdom of Jordan. Fields of fully grown sunflowers bow their heavy heads to the sun, like the brothers of Joseph did (Genesis 37:1-11). But perhaps the most mind boggling thing of all is that I am walking on some of the very same earth that Jesus physically did. He hiked the hills outside of my window at the kibbutz. I still don't think I have wrapped my mind around all of this.
The stories of David, of Abraham, of Paul, and of Jesus himself echo out of the very fabric of time and space, and it is something that I can both hear and feel in my body and soul as I spend more and more time here. As much as I'm going to learn about Biblical history here, I will never get used to this feeling of awe and wonder. I have stumbled upon a real-life Neverland, and am overjoyed to realize that yes, it is real, and I do not have to fly home for a while yet.
I'm still trying to process all of the things God placed in my life to lead me to this place and time, but I know that it is going to be something wonderful. God is, to quote C.S. Lewis, "on the move," and I am only just beginning to go further up and further in.