Magdalene Appears

“Mary Magdalene” by Daniela C.

By Mercedes Kirkel

This year I, like so many others, had dreams of travel. Travel to shake off the stuck-ness of two years of living through a pandemic, while at the same time healing from cancer. I wanted to travel to the places my soul still longed for. But it wasn’t to be. My wellbeing hadn’t yet caught up with my dreams.


The first trip I planned was to walk in the footsteps of Yeshua (Jesus) and Mary Magdalene in Israel. That dream ended up taking me on a journey, but a very different one than what I’d envisioned.


I’d dreamed of this trip to Israel for a long time—initially to experience it myself and eventually to lead Yeshua-Magdalene retreats there. As I considered how best to make this trip, I quickly realized a tour wouldn’t work for me. I needed to structure my own itinerary to the places that called to me, allowing the full time I needed at different sites and structuring the order of the trip in a way that was right for me. Even more importantly, I needed to have my own experiences, not influenced by the interpretations or beliefs of others.


I immersed myself in research about the area and the trip began to take form. I made reservations and started to experience myself already being in all the different places. I was alive with these places. Some part of my being already knew them and was remembering. I felt excited about going back physically to be there again.


It wasn’t until I started to look at possible flights that my guidance started to give me a new message. At first the guidance was quiet and subtle, but over time it became louder and larger. It was telling me I wasn’t up to international travel.


As often happens when I receive guidance I wasn’t expecting and don’t particularly like, I just sat with it for a while, letting myself absorb what I was being told and seeing how I felt about it. Within a relatively short time, I reluctantly started to feel the truth of what I was receiving. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t strong enough yet. Not only would such an intense trip stress me out and undermine my ongoing healing, it also wouldn’t be fun. Traveling when you’re not well isn’t fun.


So I cancelled my reservations and let my travel partner know I wasn’t going to be making the trip. To my surprise, something very interesting happened. First, I noticed that there were signs that Israel may not be a safe place to travel at that time. I had a sense that my guides were looking out for my safety, as well as my physical wellness. But I also noticed something else.


I realized that my desire to experience the places connected to Yeshua and Mary Magdalene in Israel had been fulfilled—through all the research I’d done and the imagining of myself being in those places again. I actually felt at peace with not going there physically. I no longer needed to do that.


Around that same time, I happened to be watching a Youtube video about Yeshua by a professor of Biblical studies at UNC, James Tabor. In the video, Dr. Tabor showed a painting of the Sea of Galilee that looked the most like “the holy land” of 2000 years ago of any painting I’d ever seen. I immediately wanted a copy of the painting, as a final stroke of completion of my urge to experience that sacred land.


I wrote to Dr. Tabor and asked for help in locating the artist. Yet even before I received his very kind response, I’d already found the artist on Facebook. I wrote to her, asking if it was possible to obtain a print of that painting. She responded that she’d painted it specially for Dr. Tabor and hadn’t kept any copy herself. She then offered to paint a new painting of the Sea of Galilee for me. I felt deeply moved by her offering me this.


She also told me a little about herself. She had lived in Israel for a number of years and had felt guided to Mary Magdalene during that time. She was also quite a spiritual person. I felt incredibly blessed to have connected with her. I also felt exceedingly curious what this painting would be like.


About a week later, she contacted me and told me that when she’d started to work on the painting, Mary Magdalene had come to her. Mary told her to paint something else for me—a picture of Mary Magdalene rather than the Sea of Galilee. The artist wanted to know if I would be OK with changing the painting to be of Mary Magdalene. I told her if that was what she (the artist) was guided to do, especially by Mary Magdalene, then I most certainly wanted her to follow that guidance.


Within a very short time the painting was done and she sent it to me. As soon as I saw it I was blown away! She’d done an amazing job of capturing the Mary Magdalene I know and have experienced so many times. And the image is extremely potent. Everyone who’s seen the painting comments on how alive Mary seems and how much her image communicates.


This painting now hangs right next to my desk and I love it. I think of it as the Mona Lisa of the middle east. I feel Mary’s presence in visual form every time I look at it. And I feel myself back with her and Yeshua so many years ago, following in their footsteps.



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