jesus trail

So Close, So Far

In the savage heat of July 3-4, AD 1187, the Crusader army thumped east from Sepphoris. They stopped to draw water from a spring, presently located behind the McDonalds with the McDrive Thru (Birket Maskana). The goal of the march was ostensibly to relieve the citadel at Tiberias. In a short time, however, that Crusader plan would be reduced to something more primal.

Salah-ed-Din’s eyes narrowed when he received the news. His siege of Tiberias had achieved the desired result. Guy was lured into open country.

Down on the Eco-Farm

I tumbled into consciousness in the decade of the 1960s. For some it was a return trip. For me, it was a notable first. That it happened in the state of Oregon where both firs and fungus grow tall, means that flower-power, hippies, and leather fringe jackets will forever trigger childhood flashbacks.

Monkey Butt

I stand by the road in the wood and wave goodbye to a dear friend. He smiles weakly and waves back. I detect concern in his eyes, as if he thinks I shouldn’t be left alone. Hani is a trained pastor who knows how to read the signs. I am far from home, a babe in the woods. The car begins to roll away then stops suddenly. Hani cranks his head out the window. “Call me, ok?” he pleads.

Breaking Rocks, Gnashing Teeth

I drop over the al-Nabi Sa’in Ridge and hit dirt. Up until this moment, my experience of the Jesus Trail has been urban. The apartment buildings step downslope toward the Suffuriyyah drainage basin and exhaust themselves. The ground goes rural.

Heaven's Promenade

The bowl that holds Nazareth has a concrete rim. Because of the vista it offers, optimistic developers have dubbed that rim “Heaven’s Promenade.” The reality falls short of this lofty promise. Closer to earth, it is simply the al-Nabi Sa’in Ridge.

A Story with Windows

The Fauzi Azar Inn is a structure with a story.

I learn this from an elegant lady who knows it best. What I consider to be just a place to spend the night, she remembers as a childhood home. Her name is Suraida and she is the granddaughter of Fauzi Azar.