Today was too much to take in. We started at the Eastern Wall of the Temple and saw that what Jesus told the disciples in Mark 13:2 that every stone if the temple would be thrown down was more than true. We stood beside the pinnacle of the Temple that once was so high. I was so thankful that I had memorized Psalm 121. I quietly repeated this Psalm as I stood on each step. It literally came to life. If you look to the hills, you have your back to the where the Temple stood. I had not realized what a grand Temple this was. Jerusalem was not a city with a Temple, like all the other Roman towns, it was a Temple with a city. God allowed a Gentile King to build a magnificent building that would be still standing today if it was His will. The rubble of the Temple points to the foundation of Jesus. He is the cornerstone.
Then we walked the Via Dolorosa. I could not take in Jesus' suffering. I could only be grateful. Each place we stopped made His utter love for me more apparent. We didn't stop at each of the 14 stations, but covered half of them. I felt I got a realistic experience of His true Via Dolorosa as we turned down one of the main market streets. I took in the smells and sounds of busy city life--that was what the street was like when Jesus walked through carrying His cross. The world was going on all around Him, not stopping to note that the world would be turned right side up that very afternoon. I stood near the place of crucifixion and by the place tradition says beams from His cross were found in a rock quarry. What can you say, think or feel in places like these? On the way out, I had no words as I walked up the stairs. Each step I took I could only say "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."
I'm standing right by Calvary--you can see the side of the rock to my right.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Notre Dame and even were blessed by the Bishop as he walked through the dinning room. On the roof we looked around Jerusalem and could take a closer look at the Via Dolrosa.
What a wonder to go in the tunnels and walk below the western wall to the closest place to where the Holy of Holies once stood in the temple. Women are permitted to pray down in this tunnel at this holy place. The prayers of women are strong in this city. The women's side of the Western Wall was far more crowded than the men's side. We came out of the tunnel just at dusk and were permitted to go to the Western Wall to pray. I didn't know what I would feel, but I was given the privilege to pray for many friends and actually stand right by the wall as I prayed. I felt God's delight in the prayers that are offered here. A future bride came to pray in her wedding gown, and two doves found their haven in the wall.
We have one more day that will be full if adventures so I'll add that when I get home. Thanks for following and praying about our adventure. It has been the most amazing pilgrimage. I will truly never be the same.