A Pilgrimage to Israel

I recently had the great good fortune to travel to Israel where I not only snapped all the memory jogging pictures I could but also tried to capture as many images as I could of scenes and objects that lent themselves to more artistic rendering than travel snapshots can. When I make pictures I strive to depict the beauty that God has built into his creation because that is the reality of his creation. It is appropriate sometimes, however, to also show a not so beautiful side of the world. That side is the result of what we as humans do to the creation we have been given to live in. I’m not talking here about the way we trash the planet, or how we sometimes don’t take care of it as we should. Although those things will appear too. What I am talking about here are the things we do to each other.

For instance, one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to is the Sea of Galilee at day break as the sun slowly emerges on the eastern side over the hills known as the Golan Heights in Jordan. The mornings I was there, the sun arose as a brilliant ball that cast a shimmering streak on the water reaching almost all the way across the lake. It was a stunning opportunity to photograph one of the most potent reminders of God’s goodness in his creation for us of this world we live in, this place that is exactly how warm it needs to be for us to survive and thrive, this place where there is air and water and animal and plant life to sustain us. And then there is the sheer beauty of it to sustain us spiritually. 

I did my best, those three mornings I arose early, to capture it all with my camera. The sun was magnificent and provided many shots of blazing orange light and reflections off the water of another kind of brilliance. And as I surveyed the rocks that line the shore for other opportunities I found a feral mother cat nursing her four or five kittens. That moment became one of the highlights of the trip for me. That is not to diminish any of the the marvelous places we visited, all the holy places that figure into the life of Jesus, but some how that momma kitty summarized the nurturing spirit of salvation history.

There was, however, another part of reality that intruded itself on the scene. Further down the beach were the rolls of razor wire that one sees all too often in Israel. I will not try to sum,sun risemarize here all the political, social, and, even religious implications in that razor wire. That is perhaps for another time. But I did photograph it. And even that wire has a kind of beauty to it as the sun glints off its barbs.  To see those pictures – the sunrise, the momma kitty, and the razor wire – plus a lot more of that marvelous place we call the holy land. Please go to the photography page of this web site.

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