Sneak Preview: Excerpted from the pre-published biography of Moishe Rosen
It was still foggy, but Moishe could see the halo of lights on the bridge, forming a graceful outline of the suspension cables. I’ll get to see the bridge itself on the way back, he thought, but for now I better concentrate on getting to the seminary.
The commute [went] much more quickly than he’d expected—it wasn’t even 6:30 [when] he headed up the steep road to Strawberry Point, where the Seminary nestled on a hill high above the [San Francisco] Bay.
At last the road leveled out into a parking lot. Moishe eased himself out of the rental car to search for signs of campus life, but there was no one in sight…. He could go back and wait in the car, but it was a bit cramped for someone his size, and besides, the outdoor air was pleasant. It smelled of wood and leaves and damp soil … and it wasn’t cold, not for someone accustomed to New York winters.
Spotting a bench under a streetlamp he sat down and, Bible in hand, began to pray—not about what he would say or do for the chapel—he was all set for that. No, as he stared out into darkness he was seeking God’s direction about [his] situation in New York.
Around 7:00 am the pre-dawn darkness began fading to grey, and before long it melted away entirely before the rising sun. As Moishe continued to pray and watch, he had one of those rare experiences he would never forget. In the darkness, he’d been completely unaware that he was facing The City. Now, as the light struck San Francisco, the low-lying fog obscured only the bottom half of the city while the skyline remained, so it looked like the city was floating on an enormous cloud. The fog also reflected the bright morning sun, lighting up the buildings like nothing Moishe had ever seen. He gazed in wonder at the gloriously golden city floating before him.
Had God arranged for him to see this amazing sight as an answer to prayer?* After all, [his boss] had agreed he could take the post in Northern California if things did not work out in New York…. The idea that this was a sign from heaven seemed too easy. Nevertheless, Moishe had been deeply moved by what he saw, and the timing seemed anything but coincidental.
Soon the fog burned off and the skyline, while still beautiful, was simply a skyline…. Moishe gave a last lingering look at The City and headed off to meet Francis Dubois, the seminary’s head of missions, who was to introduce him as the guest speaker for chapel.
It wasn’t difficult to find Dr. Dubois…. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Moishe began to tell the professor some of what he’d been discovering in New York—that many hippies were open to discussing spiritual things, and that people who were protesting the war in Vietnam seemed ready to hear about the peace that Jesus could bring. Dr. Dubois nodded his head in agreement, as though he already knew what Moishe was talking about.
Dr. Dubois looked at the literature with interest. “Well, these are unique,” he said, “…I’m going to introduce you to some people who’ve been involved in outreach to people immersed in counterculture. You’ll see that what God is doing in New York, he’s also doing here in the Bay Area.”
…After chapel, Moishe was eager to hear more about “the Jesus Revolution.” “You gotta go to Berkeley,” Paul [one of the men Dr. Dubois introduced to Moishe] announced. “…These pamphlets of yours would go over great there!”
…[In Berkeley] Paul introduced Moishe to Jack Sparks, who introduced him to the Christian World Liberation Front (CWLF). Wow, these guys really are radical Moishe thought, as he heard about ministry communes, demonstrations and more. Nothing I’m doing would seem strange or off the wall to them…. [I]f he did take the transfer back to California, there’d be people he could learn from, and who could learn from him. Not only that, but Jack also introduced him to a couple of Jewish Christians.
To Moishe, all this was absolutely wonderful…. The “happening” was even greater on the West Coast than it was back east…. [and] he couldn’t help wondering if [the entire day] was a confirmation of what God might have been revealing through that amazing sunrise.