Boker Tov - Good Morning from Israel!
11/15/2016 11:53:51 PM
Here's how I see it
Where can I start? Perhaps where I am… walking down the street in Tiberias, Israel, very early in the morning. The sun is young, and the air pleasant, a few cars are passing by, but not another walker to be seen. While most storefronts are rolled up still, I am in search of a local coffee spot, (relieved I do not see a Starbucks), and eventually find a shop several blocks from my hotel.
Though I am out and about, the little old town is still wiping sleep from her eyes.
At first there are three, then there are six – most of them old men-- a couple who come in cars, but most who walk in. The shop-owner knows what each drinks, and brings it to his table. Friends and associates walk into the little space with a nod and ‘Boker Tov’1 all around. They come to talk over the matters of the day and smoke cigarettes. With a delicious espresso before me, I have my Bible and laptop on the table, and as I am certainly the only woman in the shop, they do not know what to make of me. Of course, I begin to draw this one and that one into fits and bursts of conversation—as only two of my friends could speak a little broken English. It was delightful!
Later in the day, our leader, my pastor and friend, invites us to write our own psalm, or song, to our Lord. Here’s my just begun version, which captures my Israeli experience thus far, inspired by the Spirit, with explanation alongside:
God, you are my God,
and I will ever praise you.
King of the earth,
Creator of great and small
From the salty sand
to the mountain grand.
The birds feed their young2
While ibex3 gracefully run4
Unbound by time, holding all in hand
Grace you give to woman and man.
Peter’s sheet meant to set me free5
On Carmel you reminded me6
You put on a miraculous show
God of very God, that all would know.
On Galilee you calmed my storms
A breeze whispering, ‘Don’t pick up your sheet’
Lord over the squall, Lord over the sea
What is and will come, you have got me.
Up the hillside of blessedness7
You bade all come to Thee.
While on the shore
Simple fishermen, “Come follow Me!”8
‘Who do you say that I am?’ you asked,
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”9
Who do you say that I am, he turned my way
Ah, I smile, “My kinsman Redeemer!” I say.10
And to have been there on that day
the Baptizer raised you up . . .
O, to have heard the Father say,
‘This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!’11
On down the road a bit, another I discovered ~
About his business threshing wheat
He called himself the least, the week
Lo12, a mighty warrior I see!
“Shalit Rav” you spoke to me.13
Shalom you have spoken to my soul as you, O Lord,
Reveal yourself in the text, the land,
the water and the dove.14
More to come from the Holy Land.
1 – Good Morning in Hebrew
2 – a massive black bird I spied in the clefts of Masada
3 - a gazelle-like creature
4 – how do they survive in the desert of the West Bank?
5 - Caesarea Maritima, where Peter encountered Cornelius-Acts 10-11
6 - 1 Kings 18-19.13, Elijah and the prophets of Baal
7 - Mt. of Beatitudes
8 - Galilean shoreline in Tabgha
9 – Matthew 16.13-19
10 – At the lovely, lush Caesarea Philippi, with springs of living water
11 – Jordan River, Matthew 3.17
12 – Lo is the Hebrew word for ‘no’, what God said to Gideon
13 – Gideon’s Spring
14 – the Holy Spirit.