Why I recommend this book:
A recommendation by Susan Baller-Shepard
I confess up front: Ruth Huizenga is a long time friend, and a valued colleague. She is also a tremendous writer who can turn a phrase and take you on a journey. In Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land, Ruth Huizenga Everhart takes us along with her as she travels through the Holy Land with a documentary film crew and pastors from a variety of traditions. What makes us hearken back to an earlier time, to an older faith, not our older faith, but a faith that was here before we arrived on earth, that is thousands of years old? Pilgrimage can do this for us. We go back and travel roads and suddenly the sites, smells, tastes of an old and holy land can make real again, and vibrant, our faith as it was handed to us, from an ancient tradition. This book's beauty is that Ruth is a great traveling companion: honest, spiritual, in awe of her surroundings, and humorous in her humanity. Ruth's experience highlights the expression spoken to her early on the pilgrimage, "a tourist passes through the place, but the place passes through the pilgrim."
Ruth, a woman steeped in the Christian tradition, opens her eyes and her heart to surprises she finds in the Holy Land, new ways of seeing her faith and God, as she wrestles with God, finds herself, "suspended between heaven and earth" in a lurching cable car, swimming in the Sea of Galilee, finds herself in intimate moments of faith, intimate places of faith, with former strangers, now friends, other pilgrims on the journey.
-- by Susan Baller-Shepard