And so, with a final look across the rooftops of the Old City, and sip of Taybeh (www.taybehbeer.com) with new friends, I pack up from Ecce Homo, Jerusalem, and get ready for the early morning ‘newspaper taxi’ to take me to Nazareth, and to the friends and project partners in the north.
A couple of these new friends have been taking pilgrimage seriously, walking from Paris to Jerusalem with a letter of authority from their Bishop in hand, and dropping in on pilgrim houses and monastries all along the route. At each place they have collected a ‘stamp’ of proof in a sort of pilgrim passport they carry with them. Every stamp a memory too I guess. Arriving in Israel a week ago, they walked down from Haifa, and have been in Ecce Homo, Via Dolorosa for the last few days making it to The Church of the Holy Sepulchre today…..the focus of their long walk. All very Canterbury Tales….but without the rather odd companions that Chaucer wrote about!
Wow, what commitment, what focus, and what a journey – all proved by these stamps which they proudly showed to me. It made me think what ‘stamps’ I had collected along my journey of faith, and what commitment it takes to keep the focus.
Anyway – cheers…time for bed!