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A Meditation on Walking the Streets of Jerusalem


Someone whose name you do not know,

And will never get to know,

Walked these streets.

Winding their way,

Between market stalls and masjids,

Churches and fountains,

Synagogues and bathhouses.

Their feet, bare or shod,

Scraped over these old stones,

When they were fresh and new-cut,

Joined by the wheels of carts,

And the hooves of animals.

All of this happened once,

And then a thousand,


Thousand times afterward.

In an uncountable parade,

Of unnamable pilgrims and workers,

Paupers and occupiers,

Merchants and mendicants.

Each one scuffing these stones just a bit,

As they passed over them.

Until they were worn so smooth,

That you have to walk carefully on them now.

Watch your step, or you might fall.

Like rain from the sky,

Or dust in the wind,

Strangers made these streets as they are.

Crafted slowly, over long centuries.

Made holy, not by the places they connect,

But by the people who polished them,

With their oblations of ablation;

The prayers of their feet.

Whether you walk now here in anger, or in awe,

In piety,

In fear,

Or simply in the mundane course of life,

Your steps join with theirs.

You are a part of the procession,

That has hallowed theses stones,

By hollowing them.

And long after you have left this place,

Or this life,

Those stones will still be smoother,

Than they would have been,

Without your feet.


A little something from my trip, dear friends. It’s good to be home. See you Sunday.

In Faith,

Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson


First Parish Church

225 Cabot St

Beverly, MA 01915


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