Posts Tagged ‘Shepherd’

Solomon's stairsHow can I describe a trip that I pitched to people as an indescribable experience?

I arrived back from Israel on July 30th after 20 days of travel, miles and miles of hikes, experiencing 100+ hours of teachings, having amazing joy, heat sickness, rocket threats, great friends, bad food (good food too), and a seemingly endless list of other things.

I came back and spent days talking with people about the experience and I so much want to tell YOU about it, but how?  I can’t send the 500+ pictures, the hours of discussion, the passion, the excitement, via blog!  I think in the past couple days though, I have found a way to hopefully share some of the experience.

As more blogs get posted, I will try to share another story, and another story… probably until I go back again in 2016.

I think the key to this conversation comes in a more relate-able subject.  In early August, Melanie and I bought our first house!  It is very exciting and it is true, when you walk into the house that is for you, you will know it.  We walked in and both said “wow.” We moved in on August 16th and all of the stuff we have accumulated over the 5 years at the last house, has practically doubled our belongings.  All of it was boxed, and moved in to a house much bigger than the tiny place of 570sqft we have been living.  We now are going through the process of trying to figure out where to put stuff.  How does this fit in the new house?  Why do we still have this?  or that?  Where is the top of the blender?  Why would it be packed in a different place?

This is oddly a similar discussion to Israel…

For the trip, I studied and prepared and brought all of this knowledge with me that I’ve accumulated over the years.  The time in Israel was amazing.  The hikes were tough!  The heat was crazy!  The sun… didn’t burn thanks to sun screen.  The lessons, from the small details to the big picture, changed what you thought you knew and things went from being fragmented ideas that someone clung together to “of course, that makes sense” “oh, that isn’t confusing, it makes sense”.

Let me give you a story:

ON THE FIRST day, after leaving our hotel in the Negev desert, within two miles our tour guide Yehuda pointed out of the side of the bus and casually mentioned there there were some shepherds taking care of their flock.  Marty (the Impact staff who was leading the trip) got excited and asked if we could stop.  We got out of the bus and watched from a dry desert hill as the bus pulled away.  So began our first lesson.

What do you imagine as a shepherd?  I’ve always imagine the old man like Moses.  Long flowing robes, a crook, hobbling around grassy field.

Marty simply asked us what we observe.

Shepherd throwing stone

(Click the photo to see it larger)

There is a little girl running around.  Maybe 8… maybe 10…

There are sheep and goats in the herd.

There isn’t any grass… only tough looking desert bushes.

The sheep stay by her donkey.

The goats are all over.

Marty tells us that the job of the shepherd is normally the job of the least of the family.  “You go spend your time with the smelly sheep”.  The little girl is running almost constantly.  Why?  She is running out in front of the goats.  The goats are going up one mountain side.  She runs in front and throws rocks towards them so they turn around.  They then go up the other side.  She runs a head of them and throws a few more rocks.  This is what she did the majority of the time we were there.  The sheep listen to the voice of their shepherd and do what they are told.  They stayed with the donkey.  The goats think they know a better way.

Am you a sheep or a goat?

We see the weapon of the shepherd in the hand of her older brother who was standing by the donkey as the younger sister ran around.  It was about a 2 foot stick.  His rod and staff.

Marty finds this small tuft of yellow “grass” and says this is what the sheep eat.  I couldn’t see any of it on the ground.  All I see is desert and rock.

We watch this little girl throw rocks. and more rocks.

“Think of David” say Marty.


This unexpected, unplanned, gift from God was an amazing experience and a beginning to a crazy 18 days.

This was only stop one of the day.  Not even a planned lesson.  Each day was filled with 3-5+ lesson that realigned your view from a western perspective of something like green pastures, to seeing this desert that had yellow grass that gave a faint hint of green if the sun hit it right.

I find my self back home (in a new house), trying to figure out how the stuff from the old house fits in the new house, and I am also taking these amazing lessons from Israel and Turkey and looking at the new frame work I have of Christianity and thinking ‘how does the stuff from my old framework fit in the new?”

Like every move, there will be things that you throw out. “Why do I still have this?”

There is stuff that wasn’t packaged correctly.  “Where is the blender lid?”

Items will be arranged differently. “Our new living room is the size of our old house! (almost)”

How can I describe the indescribable to you?

If you’ll bear with me, I will continue to try.


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