Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land

A spiritual memoir about Ruth’s transformative pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine.

Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land

Publisher: Eerdmans

Available in: Print and Kindle

Published: December 13, 2012

This spiritual travel memoir chronicles my transformative two-week pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine. Readers journey alongside me as we experience both the outer terrain of the Holy Land and the interior questions that arise from pursuing the Holy One. It’s a personal book, with many light moments. Readers tell me it helped them prepare for a pilgrimage, debrief their pilgrimage, or was a pleasant substitute for a trip they were unable to take.

Available in paperback and eBook.


“Everhart’s beautiful, frank writing makes this an enjoyable and unsettling read. The unsettledness is the gift of the book to readers, because the kinds of questions Ruth Everhart allowed herself to ask throughout the trip about who God is and what she truly believed about him are the kinds of questions that can transform any one of us into pilgrims, no matter where we live or travel.”


“In these pages Ruth Everhart writes eloquently about her trip into the dust and beauty of Christianity’s cradle — about her wrestling with her beliefs, her faith, and her past. If all pilgrims were as curious, insightful, introspective, firm, and openhearted as Ruth Everhart, our old world would roll more happily and safely through the universe. In her story you’ll find bloodshed, humor, and — most importantly — love.”

~ CLYDE EDGERTON, author of nine books including Raney, Walking Across Egypt, and Lunch at the Picadilly

“Like George Gershwin’s American in Paris, Ruth Everhart’s memoir of an American Protestant in the Holy Land trips through a whirlwind of sights, sounds, conversations, questions, and revelations. The pace and first-person perspective effectively convey the disorienting (and holy) mess that results from putting our sanitized faith into tangible context — where dust and dispute, pomegranates and politics, armed soldiers and traveling pilgrims coexist. Everhart lays bare her struggles and assumptions so that we have room to examine our own, and offers us her journey so that we might witness the mobility of Holiness as it contrasts with our desire for a locatable Jesus.”

RACHEL HACKENBERG, author of Denial Is My Spiritual Practice, Sacred Pause, and Writing to God.

“I cannot imagine a better guide into the Holy Land than Ruth Everhart. Every page conjures Everhart’s fierce intellect and sacred passion. With each step she takes, her engrossing descriptions point us beyond Sunday school sentimentality and challenge us to grapple with the blood and violence that pulse through the dust. More than just touring the land, Everhart teaches us to become pilgrims.”

CAROL HOWARD MERRITT, author of Healing Spiritual Wounds and Tribal Church.

“Chronicles Everhart’s outward journey and her inward spiritual journey. . . . Poignant prayers throughout and thoughtful questions for Bible study and reflection add to the book’s riches, making it an inspiring resource for ministry. But most of all, read alone or together in a group, this beautiful book will help seekers to `move from one place with God to another place with God,’ which is what a pilgrimage is.”


“A fun, well-written book.”


“Engagingly written. . . . When I laughed, it was with delight. I am glad she released her words. You will be, too, when you accompany her pilgrimage by reading her book.”


If you’re interested in traveling to Israel and Palestine, but are unable to do so for some reason, why not become an “armchair pilgrim”? Travel alongside a pastor through the outer terrain of the Holy Land, and the inner questions that arise when pursuing the Holy One.