That place of light

I got lost in the Old City last night – it happens sometime, when you turn a different corner in fading light.

A cat slunk by my leg and hissed. The sounds of the shuk had drifted too far away to hear. The light had had deepened to greyscale.

And #thatawkwardmoment when you realize that your phone has no reception, the battery is THISCLOSE to dying, and no one knows where you are, least of all you.

And as hard as I wanted to be whole with the City of Peace, its easy to remember that this place dances with the angels on the head of a pin: One false move, and the peace can slip and shatter.

And I was scared.

I turned another  corner and ended up in front of a small church tucked into an alley.

“Shalom. Salaam,” the priest said, and we spoke in the gloaming.

I followed him into his church.

The air inside was softened with Frankincense.

A chandelier hung from the ceiling, a crystal sun illuminating the faces of the angels and the saints that gazed down from the walls.

priest 2

And there in the middle of the room, surrounded on all sides by gilded faces, he showed me an illuminated manuscript, written by the faithful hands of an Ethiopian scribe sometime deep in years of the 17th century….

“This is Gods land,” he told me. “It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew. It doesn’t matter if you think the Messiah came or if you are still waiting. All that matters is that you believe and have faith in God.”

And even though my phone was dead, even though the darkness had deepened into night, even though I still had no freaking clue where I was, I was no longer afraid.

The priest and I walked outside the church, and he showed me the way back home.

And this I now know to be true:   Sometimes, a wrong turn through long shadows can lead you to a place of light

priest 1


About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.