Climbing like goats and clambering like lizards we made our way up the mountains in Ein Gedi in Israel. We were here to discover the caves of David in the Mountain of the Goats (actually Ibex) and to get some background video footage. I didnâ€™t do bad for a 50 year old guy and made it to the top 1.5 hours later â€“ 40 pound pack and all!
David was on the run. Samuel had anointed him king during the reign of King Saul. This bordered on treason in Saulâ€™s eyes and he picked up his spear, called his troops and tried to kill David. So, David had to run for his life. He lived in two caves: Adullam near Bethlehem and Ein Gedi up in the mountains along the shore of the Dead Sea in the Judean Wilderness. And most priests and religious donâ€™t realize they are reading poems â€“ hymns of prayer â€“ written while David was a fugitive hiding in these two caves. Read the headings of Psalm 57 and 142.
The site is spectacular, the water from one of only two oasis in the Judean Wilderness was gushing, and the footage we got was excellent. You can see me in my red shirt getting background footage for our David DVD. After drying off (from water splashing and from perspiration) we scrambled back down the gorges and went to the ruins of the City of David outside the Dung Gate and the Western Wall. Here we located and photographed the Tombs of Davidâ€™s sons and the place where he likely was buried. We will have to integrate the two sites of Davidâ€™s burial.
The new director of the Notre Dame asked us to help him coordinate a Deaconâ€™s Renewal Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We agreed. This would bring 100 deacons and their wives (assuming they are married) to Israel for about 10 days for visiting the holy sites, talks, and a full conference to help them face the challenges of being a deacon. Stay tuned.
And late Sunday we returned home to suffer the effects of jet lag.