There are high spiritual points along the tour of Israel. Every day and at every site there are those deeply personal moments that people will always remember. But, there are also moments of comic relief that brings a smile to every pilgrim whose feet follows the footsteps of the Savior as well.
On every one of my four tours of the Holy Land, there is a common laughable sparkle moment. It is part of the land. Also, it is very much a part of the people of the Land.
The first time a camel is spotted it rouses an immediate interest on our bus. Every picks their head up and asks, “Where?” Heads are turning and the eagerness in lives both young and old are interested.
Cameras are set on the ready. Smart phones with built-in cameras are held up with photo or video options ready to launch into action. All conversations are put on hold and the guide helps everyone orient themselves to the first sighting of this remarkable creature.
Westerners have often joked that the best illustration of what a committee can produce compared to that talented executive is a camel. The skilled and gifted individual can come up with a plan to build a Chevrolet Corvette but a committee can never be efficient or productive beyond a hodgepodge of connected good ideas or aesthetic appeal and end up with a camel. That would be a little too rugged of a commentary on this amazing beast.
When God created this animal, He designed endurance like it existed no where else in the animal kingdom. The camel can go and keep on going even through the roughest of climates. In the desert this animal is the king.
With its agile movements, personal water reservoir and massive hoof displacement it can travel with a burden through the desert and keep on living. Caravans learned of this quality and maximized its potential. Through the arid and sparsely scattered water sources, these animals deliver their cargo over and over again.
Today our guide told us that there are no wild camels. Even in the desert a camel is owned by someone. These creatures are highly prized by those whose lives are in the sandy dunes.
Look at the face of a camel. Do they not have a face that only a mother could love? They are gentle yet independent. With their water hump, they always make us pilgrims smile.
photo credit: brucefong photography