A Holy Land Journal: “Footprint in Stone”

“Footprint in Stone

I saw today

    what Pilgrims have seen
              since Queen Mother Helena in the 4th Century
                      the very rock from which Christ is presumed to have ascended to Heaven.

I listened today

    as Abed told us what Guides have repeated
              hundreds of thousands of times
                      that the rock bears the imprint of Christ’s feet.

My imagination is not great enough to see the footprint…
       my faith is not so fragile
as to demand proof so tangible.

All I see in a depression in the rock.

And yet I know
    that Christ’s footprint is upon this site …
              for this is an Islamic mosque
              and has been thus since the 13th Century.

Here, hundreds of years ago,
       a Moslem leader declared that this holy site,
              revered by Moslems and Christians alike
                     as the location of Jesus’ ascension,
       could be used for worship by Christians,
              even as it is used as a mosque for Islamic worship.

Moslems and Christians,
       worshipping the One God
              Allah… Yahweh…

             the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Could such an act of graciousness
       be any other than
       the footprint of God’s love in Christ?

Footprint on the rock?
       Of course!
       For we know that God is constantly
              making footprints
                      on the rock that is the human heart.

And when we see the footprints…
       we celebrate anew

       the miraculous wonder of Ascension!

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