Have you ever regretted not taking photos during an important experience ?
I brought my digital camera on my pilgrimage to Israel, but did not bring home any photos.
When I arrived in the Holy Land, I knew that photographing things would distract me from paying close attention to each magnificent passing moment.
The country is a colourful explosion of growing things- cotton, banana trees, and a plentitude of other fruits and vegetables. A photograph could not capture the full beauty of the fact that the words of Isaiah are true, the desert is indeed blooming !
I knew a photo wouldn’t help me remember the magnificent smell of flowers everywhere. In particular I smelled orange blossoms ( Neroli). It is the smell of holiness.
A camera could not help me to remember the smooth feel of the water from the river Jordan on my legs as we stood to renew our baptismal promises.
Neither would it capture the sounds of peaceful cooing doves, and the ancient revived Hebrew language being spoken.
I needed to be completely focused on the moment, not distracted, to enjoy the feeling of wonder and humility while kneeling at the Lord’s birthplace in Bethlehem. Luckily there are many posted photos of Israel to help me refresh my memories.
On the plane ride home, I thanked God for the opportunity of having walked where Jesus walked. The Holy Spirit then reminded me that it was even more important to live as Jesus had lived.