(“Back to Beit Lehem” | The Jordan Journey, part 9 | May 20, 2018, late afternoon; May 21, morning)
One more place on our list, and then we were heading home. Tishbie, Elijah’s hometown. “Mar Elias” – as the Jordanians call it.
Yes, I am back to the Jordan series. I left you hanging a few weeks ago with all my open questions to Sarah (see Where Were You That Morning, Sarah? (8)), and now I am ready to finish this series.
We hopped in our van and hit the road. Every few miles we saw these colorful fruit shacks on the side of the road, and decided to stop at one of them.
Delicious produce presented on the road side in an artistic manner
Empty crates piled on the side. As we walked closer we saw this heart clenching picture:
10 months’ old baby, Mohammed,
sat in one of the crates and sucked on a bottle of milk
The mama in all of us wanted to just envelope him, create a more comfortable spot for him, understand why he is sitting in a box designed for vegetables. His father approached us with a big smile, and told us the sad story. His wife died at childbirth, and he was raising little Mohammed by himself. Yes, there are aunts and grandmoms in the picture, but Mohammed would not let anyone near him. Only his abba. His dad is the only one who can feed him, bathe him, put him to sleep.
Our hearts were stirred even more. What a great picture just before we get to the home village of the prophet, who will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest God would come and strike the earth with a curse (Mal. 4:6)!
Mohammed in his abba’s arms
When we finally arrived at Mar Elias, the sun was setting. We looked silently at the beautiful valley bellow us. By now we had so many imageries to use in our prayers.
Down bellow in the valley, between the pine branches,
you can see the small village of Tishbie, hometown of the prophet Elijah
“Father, bring that Spirit of prophecy again over this place, so that young men and women would start aligning with you, and speak to the ‘woman’ beyond the mountain, who has not heard the voice of a prophet in centuries,” we prayed.
“Restore the hearts of kids who grew up in believing families and have gone astray. Breathe forgiveness into these relationships. Restore the broken fathers. Create a bond so strong, that they would desire the presence of their fathers just like this little Mohammed.”
“God,” Hermana asked, “You promised that you would send the Spirit of Elijah and he will take hearts of stone out and turn them into flesh. We welcome the prophetic voice. We need the dreams, visions, words and oracles of God. Raise up the Deborahs – the prophetesses, the judges, generals and mothers.”
It was dark when we headed back to the hotel. Our last day in Jordan. The next morning we would pack and cross the border, zigzagging (“Hebrewing”) through the rift once more.
Crossing Over as a Mama
Things felt so different for me on the way back to Israel. This time I did not carry so much the burden of the widow Israel. Armed with the new language God had given us through this short yet rich journey, I felt more like a mother. And then it hit me.
She (Jordan) needs a change of clothes to replace her present gown. I called our driver to stop and let me out. He pulled over by an old garbage bin. I grabbed a plastic bag and started collecting the trash I found around us. I felt such an urge to take care of its soil like a mama, that would dress Jordan with new garments. I wanted to clean her pores, to let her soil breathe.
My companions watched me from the van, not sure what to do about this strange urge of mine. Than Hermana and Tian Jie joined me.
Tian Jie later wrote: “[at first] I did not understand why Orna wanted to get off! Than I realized she was picking up rubbish from the ground. At that moment I saw a true Mother’s heart, with love and compassion manifested towards the land of Jordan. It was like a mother visiting her daughter’s house and assisting with the cleaning. She does not expect to be treated as a guest! As I picked up rubbish with Orna, I felt such strong compassion from the Father.”
Jordan had captured my heart, and reminded me of Sleeping Beauty, who is not even aware of how much the Prince of Peace wants to kiss and awaken her. I started cleaning that spot because I wanted to awaken something in this beautiful piece of land, to symbolically touch her and call her to wake up. To remind her of her destiny; although she may have been napping for decades, she is so worthy, and she carries a huge place in God’s magnificent plan.
I realized that I do not look at Jordan anymore like she was a land of the enemy. I look at her with the eyes of a mother with a broken heart. So borrowing the words Isaiah used to wake up Zion (52:1), I beg Jordan: “Awake, awake! Put on your strength, Jordan, put on your beautiful garments. Shake yourself from the dust, arise and loose yourself from the bonds around your neck. You have a major part to play these days, you have hope, and a future and a plan.”
Just before leaving the gorgeous mountains of Gilead, we stopped
once more on a mountain top, to overlook into the rift
What a sight! What a sigh! Briskilla and I held on to each other, flooded with emotions.