Wednesday, May 26, 2010


During my church's meetings this year we've been studying the Old Testament. (Hooray! My favorite subject!) Last week during a discussion of Joshua crossing the river Jordan to enter the promised land, our teacher asked if anyone had seen the river Jordan (in Israel, not Utah).

I answered that I'd seen it, and already knew what he was going to ask. "Is it... very deep? wide? fast?" Sorry to crush his object lesson I replied, "No." Explaining briefly that the Jordan is very different today than it was in Joshua's day, and that because of irrigation the water flow is restricted-- one image came to my mind:

Caitlin, Whitney, and Amie at the river Jordan "baptismal" site. Tamarisk trees in the rear.

I'm sure my Sunday School teacher was disappointed with my description of the Jordan river as shallow, narrow, and brown brown brown. I tried to save face by saying that up north where the river starts it is quite beautiful (see photo below), but ultimately had to admit that in the south where Joshua would have crossed it-- the Jordan is neither chilly, nor wide, and anything but swift. Nor does it resemble anything remotely picturesque (except in Israel's nature preserves, where it is lovingly manicured).

Tamarisk trees on the other hand are gorgeous. And they're all over the Jordan river banks. My teacher, Victor Ludlow had to shoo me away from ogling the trees so I wouldn't hold up the group.

Headwaters of the Jordan river, Tel Dan, Israel.

In Sunday school I shared my testimony that the miracle of Joshua using God's power to stop the flow of the Jordan river so Israel could cross to the other side wasn't that the water stopped flowing; it was that they crossed the river on dry ground, which allowed a large column of people to swiftly cross to safety. I know that it really did happen; and that God still takes care of his people today.


Dylan said...

"During my church's meetings this year we are been studying the Old Testament." I think you mean "have" sweetheart. :-) Love you!

Rachel EM said...

Thanks for the edit! I altered the sentence in my read-through and obviously forgot something. Miss you!