There’s no good theological reason for baptismal water to be perfectly pure. Still, a person’s baptism probably shouldn’t land her in the hospital.
The Friends of the Earth Middle East scored a victory this summer when some 9 million cubic meters of fresh water per year started flowing into the Jordan River.
In Jordan, reports are mixed as to just how good relations are between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority. What's clearer is that the stronger divide is between native Jordanians and the many Palestinian refugees. The two locals we spent the most time with, our tour guide and our bus driver, represent both differences.
Petra is Jordan’s most popular tourist attraction, and it’s in an area where many poor Bedouins live. So you’re never far from a vendor of some kind, though once you get into the park a ways their wares get a bit tamer. But neither Indiana Jones tote bags nor simple camel-bone beads can distract you from what you’re seeing in the ancient Nabatean city.
The Jordan River is too shallow for Michael to row across, and the shore is a stinking pile of sludge. But something redemptive is happening.