Lord Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days. During that time he was tempted. This week my daughter Jahnavi is also fasting in the desert of Israel – and I’m worried.
My astrological reading for this month revealed that: “You will be concerned about a son or daughter” At the end of the reading the astrologer, who lives in south India, wrote: “To counteract your worry, read verses from the Srimad Bhagavata Purana.”
I’m not sure whether or not I will be worried for the entire month of January, and I daily read from the Srimad Bhagavatam anyway, but still it is true that I am somewhat concerned at the moment. My daughter Jahnavi is in Israel right now. Of all times to be in that country, this is probably not the right time. She and her party, maturely chaperoned and guarded by people with guns, is around 30 miles from Gaza. But it is every parents duty to be concerned some times and so I am.
Meanwhile, Jahnavi is geting a crash course in Judaism, modern Israel, and the feelings and thoughts of Israelis at this time. Yesterday she went with other young women into the streets of Jerusalem and interviewed pedestrians as to how they felt about Israel’s armed forces moving into Gaza. A budding journalist, I’m sure she will ultimately write about it somewhere but for now her exact movements and experiences are a mystery. We’ve been having a short phone call with her most days, but you can’t put everything into a short call.
Tomorrow she goes to the Negev desert. When Jesus Christ went into the desert he was tempted by the Devil and came out of it even more convinced of his purpose on Earth. He also fasted for a long time. All I know is that Jahnavi will be out of mobile phone range and if she can’t get any decent vegetarian food she too will fast and be tempted.
But on this particular trip she’ll learn nothing of Jesus. But maybe the Essenes will get a mention as she visits the Dead Sea, site of those famous scrolls.
My purpose here on Earth is to worry, just occasionally, about my children. This week is one such week. Now I think I’ll go and read the Srimad Bhagavatam.