I love Jerusalem. As a friend reminds me, the city is sealed on my heart. I ache when I am not here. Still, sometimes, I marvel at its idiosyncrasies. That’s almost too mild a word.
This place can be weird. It’s a city of conflict and coexistence. That’s just one paradox. Most of times, I can smile, shrug and say, “That’s Jerusalem.” Not today.
I came out of my room into the living room to see thick, black smoke rising over the Old City. I ran back into my room for my camera. It felt good to have the DSLR in my hand. Click, click, click.
Then I checked news sites. No mention. It was shabbat, though I know at least the Times of Israel is staffed on this day of rest. The smoke rose fairly steadily for more than half an hour. I still couldn’t find anything in English media online.
I eventually found three tweets referencing the smoke, two saying that it was coming from Wadi Joz, one guessing it was an accident. It’s been hours and I still can’t find a news report telling what happened.
This city seems to have two moods: business as usual and war. Maybe because the smoke was rising from an Arab neighborhood, most assumed it was a tire-burning protest. Never mind the streak of black staining the shabbat sky. Business as usual.
This place is to used to conflict. It saddens me, but it reminds me why I come here to pray. I take comfort in knowing that it will all end one day, when Messiah finally takes his throne on what is now a contested mountain.
Until then, do pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as the Holy Spirit commands through the psalmist (Psalm 122).
You my have noticed the site has a new look. I was stirred to write today by the smoke and by beginning to read The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Because of my busyness with my service at Christ Church Jerusalem, the blog may shift a bit. I will aim to share at least weekly on what is happening in Jerusalem. While I may still share an occasional article from a contributor, I hope to share more photos and personal insights on life in Jerusalem.
Thank you for your patience, your prayers and support.
P.S. Some body else was inspired to write by the smoke. I found the post via Twitter while looking for info on the some.