And I’m saying this not because I played some big, heroic, part in an event, but because what occurred yesterday at the site commemorating the birthplace of the Prophet Elijah was practically unbelievable. All those preconceived notions you have about Muslims? After reading this story, you’ll want to check those at the door.
FYI, I had never met Denise Bossert before going on this trip to Jordan, nor had I ever heard of her. I’m sure the same held true for her about me. But a new selfie stick (Lord knows, I hate selfies), and a hasty departure call, resulted in her misplacing a phone.
But that was just the beginning of a Road to Damascus moment for her, as you find out below,
I wanted a picture with the valley behind me as I stood on Elijah’s Hill. I pulled out the selfie stick and clicked two pictures, quickly took the phone out of the stick and put the stick in my backpack. It was time to load onto the bus and head for a Marian shrine called Our Lady of the Mountain and then, on to Jerash, another city in the Decapolis.
The bus pulled away and I opened the pocket of my backpack where I always drop my iPhone when I’m not using it. I didn’t see it. No biggie.
It’s a deep pocket. Things get jostled. It was probably further down in the bag. I took everything out of the front pocket. No phone.
I unzipped the next pocket and checked the area where I keep the selfie stick. No phone.
I pulled out my Nikon camera bag and emptied it out. I handed my backpack to Diana von Glahn and had her check the empty bag again while I searched the floor of the bus, my jeans pockets, my jacket pockets.
The phone was gone. And by now, we were well into the ride to the shrine.
I imagined trying to make connections with my husband in a week when I return home. That’ll be fun with no phone.
I thought of the pictures I’d lost. I guess I will just beg others to share theirs.
I thought about the process of getting a replacement phone. That’ll be fun.
Our guide calmly called ahead and arranged to have a taxi meet us near the shrine. He laid out the plan. Frank Weathers, a writer and former Marine, would go with me. He knew Arabic and had lived in Egypt. I couldn’t have asked for a better advocate, translator, and moral support as I faced the thought of climbing into a taxi from a small town in Jordan with a cab driver who couldn’t speak English.
You know what? Joe Six-Pack, USMC, flat loves hopping into cabs in foreign countries. You know why? Because like I reported a long, long, time ago, I never get lost. That, and I help damsels in distress. It’s what the Good Samaritan would do, and that’s a good enough model of behavior for me to try and emulate.
I’ll have more to say about this incident in a later post. But for now, let me just say that as a guy who has lived in two (count ’em!) majority Muslim countries, it is highly likely that everything you think you know about Muslims is wrong.
Go read Denise’s eye-opening adventure. You’ll be glad you did.