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In His Footsteps
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In His Footsteps
  Jerusalem Travel Tale

by Lorry Patton

Jesus was born in the little town of Bethlehem. He studied and worshipped in Nazareth and fished on the Sea of Galilee. He performed miracles at Tabgha and preached on the Mount of Beatitudes. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene and wept in the churches of Jerusalem.

These events took place nearly 2000 years ago, yet, lo and behold, the sites and seas and cities and gardens still exist today. And for Christians, to be able to walk in where He once did is very meaningful. Even if his footprints are far off in Israel, a tiny country the size of New Jersey.

I've been there twice; most recently last winter. When I walked the crowded and crooked alleys in the Old City of Jerusalem, I felt I was immersed in the pages of the bible, despite the fact that tee shirts hung next to woolen robes and the fish containers were made of bright blue plastic. The architecture remains the same -- stone walls in shades of the hills, twisted narrow streets, and all those solemn churches, tabernacles and mosques. At times I felt overwhelmed with peace and serenity, as at the Garden Tomb where many believe Jesus was buried after his crucifixion. At times, my neck bristled and I felt I might be part of CNN's next breaking news flash, like when I walked through the airport past security guards armed with machine guns.

Thankfully, both the Palestinian and Israeli leaders are aware that "tourism promotes peace and peace promotes tourism". They have been working together so that visitors of all faiths can experience a meaningful and rewarding stay. I felt safe on the streets, by the way, much more so than in many cities at home and other parts of the world. And when I left, I felt a little wiser, a little more open-minded and a little more tolerant.




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