Thursday, October 30, 1997

VOLUME 1 - Winter 1997

Getting Through Security Securely

El Al airport security is notorious for their strict matter-of-fact questions. Many passengers are astounded at the amount of information the agents request. Topics ranging from, "how did you afford to buy this airline ticket", to the standard "did you receive any packages from anyone to take to Israel" are very time consuming to the anxious travelers.

I was determined to be prepared this trip. I had our itinerary in my carry on bag (to explain the funny shoes and wig) and a copy of Sunshine After Rain - Promised Land Poetry and Prose, to prove that I REALLY am a writer. The security guard started interrogating me with all the aforementioned questions, and I was ready with all the answers.

The occupation question arose and I told her I was a writer, she stopped and said, "really, so am I". She resumed the routine security list of questions, but then interjected, "what do you write?" I told her mostly poems and song lyrics. "Really, I am a poet myself. Do you have anything that proves you are a writer like a book, or something?"

Was I ever ready for that! I pulled out my trusty copy and handed it to the security agent. She was visibly impressed. "Well, I can see that you really are a writer." She opened to the table of contents and saw the list of traditional Christian sites visited in the Holy Land; Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, etc., but she stopped and remarked when she read the titles for the Holocaust Museum. "Ah, Yad Vashim, I see you know this place as well".

I turned to the page the poem was on, and asked her to read it. As she was reading, the tough, strictly business exterior faded. She began to cry.

I could not believe it. She turned away, composed herself, and then faced me to finish her set of routine questions. She apologized for the delay and closed the book to return it to me. I opened the cover, asked for her name, and signed it "In His Service". She appeared moved by the gesture, and thanked me for the gift. As I was leaving the security area, she approached me and handed me her address and phone number. “Keep in touch,” she said. Of course I will.

I was asked many times before leaving on this trip how we intended to witness to the Israelis if we could not mention directly the name of Jesus in the Jewish facilities we were planning to visit. Before the plane even left the ground, the LORD faithfully showed me He would handle the witnessing opportunities, we need only to be prepared, available, and listening.

That will not only get you through security – it will get you through SECURELY!