I have this uncomfortable trait of finding it difficult to sleep when I am very excited about a trip. Such is the case this morning. I’ve been awake since 3:00, tried to go back to sleep, could not, so here I am thinking about our trip which begins today.
On Friday night at the ladies conference last week, I stopped and talked a few minutes to Brother Johnny Hodges about our trip to Israel, telling him I had never been, and how excited I was to be going.
He had gone to the Holy Land several years before. As we spoke, his mouth began to tremble and I could see he was overcome with emotion. “The most moving part of the trip, Sister Buxton, was one day as I stood with my wife near Golgotha. I lifted my eyes and looked, and there I identified that hill, for I saw the face of the skull. . . I knew it was the place.”
Brother Hodges, an elderly, snow-headed man, an esteemed minister, could hardly talk now. I covered his hand with mine as he struggled to continue, his face a study in passion and grief. “It was there,” I said to my wife. “Right there, Elaine. Jesus died for me.”
He cried. I lingered a bit, then walked away.
In a few days, I too, will stand there. I will gaze on that cruel–yet glorious–place, and no doubt, I, too, will be overcome with emotion.