We couldn't believe it this morning when we looked out the window to see huge snowflakes covering the palm branches. And it was not just a momentary fluck — it snowed a good part of the whole day. You will see in this video that we got soaked as we spent most of the day walking.
But, before you say, "Wow, I'm glad I wasn't there!" let me tell you that even with 100 pilgrims walking in the snow and pouring rain, with water rushing over our feet — not ONE pilgrim uttered even ONE complaint. These are true pilgrims. And how appropriate to to endure a bit of suffering today since this was the day we walked in the footsteps of Christs along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, from the location of his trial to the cross.
The Stations of the Cross meander through the Old City of Jerusalem past many shops, up and down narrow streets all filled with people, trash, small vehicles and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Just as the people ignored and even despised Christ as he carried his cross through the crowded streets, so our pilgims share a bit of that as they carry wooden crosses toward Calvary.
But the snow made the day very unusual. We have seen snow here before, even in March but not with the amount or persistence that we experienced today. Even later in Bethlehem when we visited the Christ the King sister parish in Beit Sahour, the kids were all having snowball fights. It was quite a sight.
I will add more info tomorrow morning, but I have been up almost 18 hours starting with leading my pilgrims on a very early private tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I will update several of the blog entries tomorrow morning early. Stay tuned.
Oh, one last thing! Everyone is really enjoying the notes and comments from home! Keep it up