Jesus Trail, IV: Holy Ground

Chris Johnson leading us down the Horns of Hattin


By The Reverend Dr. Jo Forrest

Cows from the Kibbutz

How little did we know a stop in the Kibbutz’s synagogue where we stayed would be necessary rest before an arduous day of ascents and muddy-slick descents through the Galilean valley.

One of the many steams to cross

Atop the Horns of Hattin we learned of the crusades of the Middle Ages and the geographic reasons, among many, of why they failed. In the rainy season you are caked in mud, and without local knowledge during the dry season, the water sources are distant and protected turning the lush valley brittle. So many ways to die.

A group-think helped us recall the Exodus story to situate Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, before we arrived at his burial place in a Druze shrine. Then, on to a mosque ruined during the war of 1948 where we rested for lunch.

No one could capture on film or video the sensation of standing in the migratory path of the painted lady butterflies who were headed north through the fields of flowers.

We feel as though we crossed 40 streams with the aid of three men at the young end and several sturdy with more than 50 years to their age. It was truly a group effort to get each of us safely across.

In so many ways, the Galilean valley created transcendent experiences.

You can’t find holy ground with your GPS. You won’t even find it at famous holy places, though you might. Ordinary places become holy ground only because we meet God there.  —Richard Floyd

March 28, 2019

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