It is often when words fail or are difficult that we find that our sense take us down other paths.
Smell is very evocative. On Sunday as we renewed our baptismal vows we used rosemary to sprinkle the water of the Jordan. The smell of the rosemary infused the air. Today as we visited The Church of the loaves and fishes at Tabgha it was the smell of burnt wood which infused the air. I recall this church from my last visit and was looking forward to visiting it. Just up from the sea of Galilee it sits adjacent to fields where goats graze and Olives grow – it is a place of peace.
Our guide told us that some six months ago a group of Israeli settlers set fire to the Church. The smell of charcoal will remain with me along with the sense of peace.
We then made our way to the Church of St Peter on the shore of Galilee – a place that for me six years ago was significant in affirming my calling as a priest. What I will take away with me is time is a sound. The water of the sea of Galilee laps onto the rocks and with the warmth of the sun it creates an audio memory which I will take away with me along with the sounds of prayer at the Western Wall, the call to prayer and the bells in Nazareth.
t is as if at times our use of words inhibit the use of our other senses so maybe it is time to stop.