So I had a secret on this trip. I agonizingly carried around a ring for a couple weeks waiting for this very day! After completing our study of the book of Ruth, we were able to get a couple hours of sleep in at about the time the sun rose. Shavuot was celebrated with the largest gathering of messianic believers in Israel throughout the year in a beautiful park in the hills outside of Jerusalem.
Our team was to go and enjoy this time with them and minister in whatever way that He called us. Rabbi David told a story where the year before he had witnessed a Jew and a Palestinian being baptized together at this very festival. This is the true picture Jesus is bringing and the answer to the question of the Middle East.
That morning I went with Robert from our team to the store and bought some King David wine and some bread. I had known for months that I would be proposing to Kara on this trip. I had taken some steps to make sure that she did not expect it, but I had prayed and agonized about when to do this for quite some time. Kara, Glenn, & I had a week of vacation tacked onto the end of this mission trip, so would I do it then? But in the end, I decided that I wanted to use the occasion of this Feast day to propose our marriage. I thought that the day that celebrates God’s indwelling union with us was a good occasion to propose a spiritual lifelong union with Kara!
We arrived and ate with our team and then I asked Kara if she would like to go take communion with me. I asked her to grab her camera only to find out that she hadn’t charged the battery ahead of time so it was dead. I scrambled. “Glenn, can I borrow your camera?” And we went walking. We walked over some beautiful rolling hills trying to find the perfect place. And walked some more. Kara must of thought it was strange that it took me so long to pick out the perfect “communion spot,” but she didn’t say anything. Finally, I settled on a place and we sat on a boulder with our feet dangling over. The hill fell gently beneath us and rose to a new one a few stone throws away. Other hills were off in the distance to the right. There was a tree shading us as I lead us through some scripture. Interestingly, I had wanted to read Isaiah 62 when I had come across it at our proposal, but had not written it down and forgot the address, only to have someone in the car mention it on the drive to the festival. So, I read Isaiah 62, John 14:1-15:14, and we took communion with Matthew 26:26-29. As we spent this time here an incredible wind rose up gently caressing us. Then I popped the question.
The set up made it difficult to go down on one knee so I actually slid down the boulder and sort of kneeled with both knees on it. I asked for her hand and she agreed! She apparently thought I was doing this very spur of the moment, but then I remembered I forgot something and said, “I have a ring!” and pulled it out. We were totally alone on this hill and for a several minutes enjoyed the enormity of what was happening in our lives. Then we started to think that we should get a picture of this moment.
At almost that exact moment, a couple came walking by. It was perfect! So they snapped a couple pictures as we shared our news. We walked back hand in hand towards our group.
I hadn’t meant to consume all of our time at the festival with this proposal, but apparently this happened as the rest of the group was coming to find us after they had finished ministering. We met them near the cars, shared our news and our matrimonial communion with them.
What else is there to say?