“In the Footsteps of Jesus”
by Ann Hadden Cornelius
Editor’s Note: Chapel President Bob Wohlsen and Miriam Casey just returned from a trip to Palestine. This reflection was written by Ann, a member of their delegation.
One of the great things about travel is the way in which one is always surprised. An old assumption challenged, a personal dependency illuminated, an unexpected encounter which engenders growth. Understanding that the Holy Land has been occupied for centuries, I looked forward to experiencing the conflux of the three Abrahamic religions and the layering of their holy sites and people. Grotto-like Greek Orthodox spaces filled with glided icons, filigree lanterns and the air heavy with incense. The incongruous sight of young Hassidic Jewish school boys – with their long uncut curling sideburns, mid-thigh length black jackets, socks tucked up into their breeches and wearing an unlimited variety of hats (some fur, some peaked, some velvet) which identifies ones sect – playing tag and hopping puddles. And the faithful response to the Muslim call to prayer (sounding 5 times each day & beginning at 4am) with its resulting flood of people climbing in taxis or vans and zooming to the closest mosque to perform salah – the practice of formal prostrate prayer with its the repetition of two or more units of a prescribed sequence of actions and words.