I had just pushed my cereal bowl away from my place at the breakfast table, took a sip of tea and opened the Bible. I read from the Old Testament about how the Persian King Darius re-instituted orders for rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem and then how the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. I finished with a Psalm and a Proverb. It was a normal morning in the Blanchard sun room. Next I opened Called to Controversy, a book on the life of Moishe Rosen. Moishe was the founder of Jews for Jesus. I was reading Chapter 10 aloud to my husband. It was the story of the conversion of his wife Ceil to Christianity.
After the birth of her first baby Ceil began to wonder about God. She asked a friend of hers to get her a Bible,
“Be sure to get a whole Bible. You know–both the Old and the New Testament–but don’t tell anyone!”
Bringing a Bible into a Jewish home was very risky. Ceil could be banished from the community, but she didn’t care. She had to find out about the one she sang about at Christmas when she was in high school. Who was the one in whom “the hopes and fears of all the years” resided?
She began with the first verse of the first book of the New Testament: ‘The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. What’s wrong with that? she thought. It’s saying that Jesus was Jewish!
She read voraciously until it was time to prepare dinner, then she hid the Bible underneath some papers in a desk drawer. From then on, whenever she had a few moments alone she read it. The more she read, the more impressed she was that it was a Jewish book about a Jewish person who claimed to be the Jewish Messiah.
It was the next paragraph that hit me. It made me weep so hard that I could not breathe enough to read. I simply looked at my husband with tears streaming down my face.
No Christian had ever suggested anything like this to her; none had even suggested that she read this New Testament. It was, she thought, her private discovery. And she intended to keep it that way.
I was convicted of the fact that I not witnessed to anyone about Jesus in a long while. I felt very badly that every day I passed people and never spoke about Him to them. I recouped my composure and finished our morning reading time with a prayer from the Valley of Vision. In the prayer were these words
As I have a position in the world,
keep me from making the world my position;
I prayed that He would let me live today with heaven in mind, that as I would go about checking off the errands on my earthly “to do” list that I would, simultaneously and more importantly, accomplish things for eternity. My Father God went with me to the bank to transfer my retirement funds from the hospital and place them in an annuity under the guidance of the son of one of my deceased father’s best friends. As we did the transactions, he asked me about my faith and how I could be so sure of what I believed. He shared a lot about his college years and how disillusioned he had become. I shared a few key things for him to ponder and suggested a couple of books that might help him understand Christianity better. I ordered C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity from Amazon for him. Please pray for Jason.
I then left to work at the free medical clinic and there was more of the same. The Lord just connected me to His spiritually hungry people all day. Was it because I asked Him to help me do that first thing in the morning? Was it because He loved me and needed to show me how easy this was if I made it a priority and let Him lead? Today I learned (again) that I must slow down and pay attention for I had all eternity and I did not need to rush.
Sharing His sacrifice,