Saturday 15 November 2014

The gentle stranger.....

Full tourist mode ahead. Arriving in Jerusalem today, I wanted to site see and visit all the Christian spots. I myself have been brought up as a Catholic Christian but have always had free reign to make my own decisions about faith. I’m not a strong believer in any 1395111_4694669860699_3687315379947154724_nparticular religion but I do believe in religion. I believe that some people need there to be something to look up to when they are lost and lonely and afraid. They need faith. That is what I believe. God, to me is a word that simply means hope and that for many, gives them the strength to get through the darkest of times.
10385389_4694657900400_4601608058438557133_nMy grandma was the only one among my family to wholeheartedly follow a religion. Even as she grew ill she would have a priest visit as she lay in the lounge, confined to a hospital bed. I wasn’t even a teenager when she died and I’d never felt a particularly strong bond with her but when she passed away I felt more loss than I have for anyone. Something I can’t explain but have carried with me since. When I am sad or lonely, I speak to my grandma. This trip was to give back to her. She would have appreciated the landmarks and the history much more than I but I had the chance to go and I would could carry her with me as I went.
A short ride later, I took my first steps over the Mount of10173748_4694639339936_2566358287205935780_nOlives, where Jesus is believed to have been crucified. As I looked for garden associated a voice called to me. A young Palestinian man asked if he could help me. At the time I didn’t realise that this young man would cause me to have faith in humanity again. We spent the day going to different sites, churches and view points. He offered me support climbing the rocky mountains, waited outside church grounds to give me space, and explained the wonders of Jerusalem. People greeted him everywhere we went and his friends helped us to get from place to place, one even let me ride his camel. He 1466210_4694647300135_1405970217970284574_nasked nothing for his kindness and even made time to remind me to protect my belongings.
So often are we judged by our age, colour, religion, sex ect and all the time we are warned against strangers and the dangers people pose. Everyone is after something right? Well today this man was nothing but gentle. He didn’t talk much but always offered information or guidance when required. At the end of the day I sat in his cousins coffee shop reading while he was downstairs in the sweet shop with his family. He then had me driven to the check point so I could return home. Today I put a little bit of faith in a man I just met and in doing so was humbled and inspired to be more,  more selfless, more giving, more.1978763_4694773543291_2831169499544735197_n
I would like to believe that he was something from my grandma, by believing in her and taking the time to step into her world, she was showing me what I could find. She sent me someone to protect and guide me so that I could open my heart up fully to all possibilities. Now don’t get me wrong. My beliefs haven’t changed. I’m not suddenly going to become religious but it’s a nice thought and I do believe some part of her was with me today, living through me and the gentle stranger I walked with.

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