I can’t believe it’s already May 28th. My trip to the Holy Land is almost over, and I’ve blogged about it… ONCE. Eesh. Sorry about that. Would it make things better if I told you I was exhausted and every moment was spent either filming or experiencing this amazing land as much as I can?
No? Oh, ok, then. Let me catch you up.
Wow. Well… let’s see. I already told you about our crazy first day, so let me say that the days after that got better and better. And let me first say that that is because of the two wonderful gentlemen who are here with me on this trip: the young and dapper Mr. Andrew Buckmaster, and the amazingly spectacular Patrick Dolan.
I can’t say enough wonderful things about these guys, and just in the short time we’ve been here, I’ve gone from knowing them a little to loving them completely and trusting them inherently. I am blessed to have them here, and I pray that I can bring them along on future shoots. If I had my druthers, I’d have them along for every one. Insha’Allah, right?
So, while our first day was rough, getting used to each other, dealing with equipment failures and jet lag, the days since have been amazing. Our second day began in Nazareth–we slept at the Golden Crown hotel, which is absolutely fabulous in every way. Comfy beds, yummy food, and beautiful views. I highly recommend it.
That morning–which seems so long ago–we met Habib for a tour of his hometown, Nazareth. Our first stop: the International Center for Mary of Nazareth, where I met the wonderful Beatrice and Luc, who gave me a quick tour of and explained the significance of the center. We interviewed Beatrice about the first-century home found on the site. I look forward to sharing that interview with you.
Then, we were off to the Sisters of Nazareth, where we were taken to the bowels of the building to see a first century tomb, stated to be the “Tomb of the Just or Righteous one”. Who is that? Some say St. Joseph. Others don’t bother guessing. What did I think? As I made my way down to the tomb and listened to Sister explain it, emotion began to swell in me, and by the time I got to the entrance of the tomb, I began to sob. Uncontrollably. I have no idea why. I wasn’t sad. I didn’t know who was buried there. But it was as if a huge rush of something just pushed past me from the tomb, and I felt goodness and love and everything that comes of God. I prayed to this righteous one, and asked him to bless our efforts.
I didn’t want to leave, but before we did, sister gave me permission to walk down the steps crusaders used to use to access the holy site and venerate the tomb. As I walked down the steps, once traversed by crusaders, I felt the most bizarre crush of history. Here I was, this silly girl in jeans and a ponytail, making a television show, walking down stairs once touched by men from God knows where, who gave their lives to protect the Holy Land. Unreal.
After this spot, we made our way to the Church of the Synagogue, where it is believed that Jesus first read the scroll from Isaiah, put it down and said, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” It was amazing. But the fun part of that trip was meeting Jean. As I watched Andy film the interior, I overheard Patrick speaking with someone outside about The faithful Traveler. He was explaining what we were doing and who we were. Next thing you know, one woman from the group–Jean–said that not only had she seen our show, but she loved it! Patrick called me over, and I said hi! What a sweet lady! And it was her birthday. Andy was mad he didn’t get our first encounter on film, but we were able to have some members of the group, and Jean, to speak with us on camera about their trip. That’ll be fun to share, too.
And this is only the first half of the day. After this, we had to make our way to the amazing land of Jordan, which I’ll have to tell you about in my next blog bc it’s time to go have some breakfast and interview the Latin Patriarch!
Until later, my friends! Keep praying for us! I am praying for you.