“…I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. “My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. “And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.” Ezekiel 37:26-28
“Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.…” Leviticus 26:11-12
“Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23
The fringe of the very place where the Spirit of the living God once dwelt among His people.
Gods people gather in massive quantities to these stacked limestones and spill the tears into His hands. Every crack and cervis of the structure is stuffed with paper prayers. Current folded hopes and dreams wedged between thousands and thousands of years of history.
In some cases ink and tears bleed together on the prayer letters. Sorrow and hope collid—human fragility on paper.
Praisers, the Mariums and David’s, the ones with uncontainable joy, are excluded from the contrite and solom. Only in very recent years have these joyful ones been allowed to approach he wall with their praise hearts. To dance and sing freely at the hem of this once Holy dwelling place.
It’s empty now. But they come because they believe it to be the closes they can get to God.
Today atop the Temple Mount (the space which thes walls encase) resides the Muslim holy site “The Dome Of The Rock” (circa 688-692).
But we come because we know He has already overcome. And I beheld the place, a fragment, and glimps, of where His Spirit spilled from heaven and pooled on earth. To dwell. And He dwells here and now in my heart. Because the veil was torn.
They come (Jewish people) to draw near. To come close and be close because it is written in our hearts, each of us, to yearn for the sacred, divine intimacy for which we were designed. Closeness they chase, not aware of the existing reality of The Way.
I’m in a land where the war waging is not against flesh and blood or skin tone and personalities. This tension is truly spiritual in nature, and though physically one can see and be discouraged by seeing monuments erected on true Holy sites in honor of fales Gods, you know as a believer in the One a True Living God that John 16:33 is the anchor which keeps your heart and your head stable:
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world.”
“What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 2 Corinthians 6:19-20
I stood toe to toe with he wall. Puddle of tears surrounded me. Not of my own grief but neighboring sorrows spilling from hearts of women around me.
They enage their bodies in prayers, rocking back and forth, as a way of embodying the very cry from their lips and hearts and souls. Reciting words quilled so long ago. Doesn’t seem to matter that the words aren’t their own. They speak the word they, cling to the words, they cherish the words. With all they have. As if they were their own.
In awe they begin to step away, not turning their backs to the wall. As the women peel away, they leave their spirit bound by Hope.
Space is made for me to squeeze in and pray face to face with this precious place.
I, timid and curious, approach the space and breathe the dust.
I feel the cool beneath my right palm, then the beating of my heart beneath my left.
Im caught in a moment of thought, first this:
Lord, You are real, and I center myself on this reality. You are alive!
Psalm 23. The whole passage.
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The words stung.
The beating warmth of my own life, living and breathing Spirit, dwelling in me and then this empty cold stone behind the right hand where they all flock to, and weep at and pray for miricals and blessings and hope and plea for providence. The hallow empty they cling to, and yet in my very own hallow body beats the One who they’re after. Who they’re crying for.
And I can only smile.
And then my own candid tear escapes and I softly lisp the words again:
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.