Mom’s trip to Israel healed her…in more ways than one.
by- Posted on Apr 6, 2015
“Some seniors from church are going to the Holy Land, and I’ve decided to join them,” my mother announced one evening. My brothers and sisters and I were relieved. We’d been worried Mom might never get over losing Dad. Her joy in life had gone out of her since he died. Even though she went to church daily, she seemed lonely and lost, as if her sorrow were too deep for anyone or anything to touch.
For years, my parents had talked about visiting the places they’d read about in the Bible, so I hoped this trip would help Mom feel connected to her faith again. Please, Lord, I asked, heal my mother.
One day a few weeks before she was set to leave, Mom was making stew when the top of the pressure cooker blew off. The roiling contents burst out of the pot, scalding Mom’s chest and face. Fortunately, her burns healed in time for the trip.
“You’re lucky,” the doctor told her. “The only permanent damage you’ve suffered is to your tear ducts.” They’d been destroyed and would never produce tears again, so Mom would have to use special eyedrops—artificial tears—for the rest of her life. Still, she was grateful her injuries wouldn’t keep her from her long-awaited visit to the Holy Land.
Mom called as soon as she got back from her trip. I almost didn’t recognize her voice because she sounded so happy. “Bernie,” she said, “you won’t believe what happened to me at the Garden of Gethsemane. I was wandering among the olive trees and rows of flowers, missing your dad so badly. At the rock where Jesus prayed before he went to the cross, I knelt and closed my eyes. I asked our Lord to forgive me for complaining about my own suffering when he had endured so much more.
“Then I felt this tickling sensation on my face. I opened my eyes, but nothing—not a leaf or flower petal—was brushing my skin. I reached up and touched my cheeks. They were wet, Bernie—wet with real tears!”
And so were mine.