Day 12: Home again but never the same

Group photo taken at Emmaus but without two of our companions who had departed from us already.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than this,j to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.  It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  This I command you: love one another.
John 15: 12-17

What an amazing experience!  I will be unpacking this journey for a lot longer than it will take me to unload the contents of my suitcase, although that will not be a small task either.  I knew this was going to be a powerful journey but was amazed at all of the little ways God touched me during this time in Israel.  Seeing the love between the couples on this trip, seeing the men all helping out the pilgrims who were having difficulty walking on the steep hills and many stairs, and even just having the pleasure of spending some time with my sister away from the noise and hustle of everyday life to really appreciate what a gift we have in each other.  I can only speak for myself but each Word of scripture is now more alive to me than ever and it honestly feels like an eternal embrace from God Himself.  I have posted a slideshow of photos I have collected from the trip and would be happy to add more if people want to share them via snapfish or dropbox or in person, you can reach me at and we can plan.  God bless always and I am sure like many of my companions on this journey the swelling in my feet will go down but I pray the swelling in my heart never does.  God bless always.  Christine

Prayer intentions: For pilgrims, those searching for a connection with God, those looking to grow deeper in their relationship with God, those who have a God sized hole in their hearts and try filling it with other things, for all of the pilgrims on this journey to the Holy Land, the families they left at home, and for all of the prayer intentions we brought with us.  Amen