Starting today and continuing every Tuesday and Thursday through Advent, we’ll move through a series of photo meditations on “holy space.” Our guide is photographer and travel writer Katie Archibald-Woodward and her inspirational “visual words.” If you’re a restless soul looking for more meaning, more truth and/or more life, we hope you’ll join us on this journey. Here is Katie, in her own words:
I recently traveled to the region of the world touted as “The Holy Land”. The lands of Jordan, Israel, Palestine and the Egyptian Peninsula have been labeled so illustriously because they are the areas in which the world’s best known and most influential monotheistic religions originated and developed. In addition to travels among these lands I also ventured to Turkey, a country saturated with pagan, Christian and Muslim history and holiness in its own right; thus it is included among these posts as well. As one might guess, the holiest city in these lands, in the opinion of most, is Jerusalem. It is the place of the Foundation Stone, believed to be the junction of heaven and earth and upon which the earth began, according to Orthodox Jews. On this location the first and second Israelite temples were built, followed by a pagan (Roman) temple and then the Dome of the Rock built by the Muslims, some of whom (Sunnis) believe it is from this place Mohammed flew up to heaven.
So much has been said of these lands. For millennia people have fought over them, longed to control them, and hungered to visit them. But what is it about Jerusalem and the surrounding undulating mountains, vast deserts, fertile valleys, and salty seas that made them the places in which God chose to be revealed — moreover, came to live and walk, according to Christian belief? Why here?
The following blog posts offer my visual expressions as a sampling of further observations and reflections on these places called “holy”. As we journey across space and time through the holy lands of Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and Turkey, perhaps together we might discover just what it is that sets them apart and crowns them with that supreme name.
Do you have a holy space that is pivotal in your story, one that you’d feel comfortable sharing with the rest of us saints and sinners, restless souls alike? Send it along and I’ll share them every Friday.