Things that have happened since I last posted:
- Semester ended, with all my work turned in on time. (!!!)
- Flew to Israel. Celebrated Christmas in Haifa at an Arab Anglican church. Actually a really lovely service.
- Got quite ill with sinusitis, and thus was grumpy, sick, and/or in bed for most of the next week and a half, while the family visited Beer Sheva, Jerusalem, and the West Bank.
- Returned to Haifa, got antibiotics, and largely recovered.
- Had foodie adventures, including a wonderful co-op at a local kibbutz (8 kinds of dates! amazing blends of spices! local honey!) and a fabulous Moroccan restaurant.
- Flew home. Possibly caught another cold from the jerk next to me who wouldn’t turn off his cell phone while the plane was moving.
- Started classes. Lots and lots of original languages this semester, it looks like.
One day, between Christmas and New Year’s, we were driving by the Sea of Galilee just before sunset. The sky glowed in shades of rose and peach and gold. An enormous flock of little birds, silhouetted in black, flew over the water — swooping upward then falling downward, fluttering about playfully while remaining a cohesive whole. As I watched them, I thought about Matthew 10:29, the promise that God watches and remembers each sparrow’s fall. I usually visualize it as a single sparrow, but in that moment, watching all the birds together, I shivered at the thought of God watching every flicker of those hundreds of wings.
Happy new year.