I Knew Just How She Felt
After one of our Liberated Wailing Wall presentations at a church in Vancouver, B.C., a woman approached me at the sales table. Can you come and talk to my friend? She needs to talk to you,” she said. I saw her friend standing behind her. She looked as though she had been crying. Turning the sales table over to capable hands, I walked over to meet Stephanie. We found a quiet place where we could talk.
Stephanie, a young woman from an Orthodox Jewish family, had come to our presentation of Jewish gospel music with her boyfriend, a Gentile believer. In her soft British accent, she told me her family had moved to Vancouver from London. They had little knowledge of her recent visits to church with her boyfriend.
When I asked what had moved Stephanie to talk to me, she replied that she needed to see another Jewish person like herself who could relate to what she was experiencing as she considered Yeshua. She said something in my story that evening had touched her with a sense of common experience. She thought perhaps I could understand what she was feeling and why she was so afraid to ask Jesus into her heart and life.
I did know exactly what she meant. I, too, had been told about Yeshua by a Gentile believer who was my boyfriend. I had begun to think about it when I was teaching in my synagogue Sunday school. In my small class of eight children, one of them had asked at Hanukkah time (which was also Christmastime), “Who is Jesus?” It was a question I could not answer, but one I could not lay aside, either.
About six months later my boyfriend Dan and I agreed to debate the truths of Judaism versus Christianity. We would use only the Scriptures as a reference. As I prepared for the debate, I found myself losing my grip on my position. That made me cling to it even more, until the day of the debate, when I read of the coming Messiah in the Book of Isaiah. At that point I saw for the first time who Yeshua really is.
Now Stephanie was at that same threshold. She was crying and afraid to believe that what she had been told all her life could not be true. At the same time, she realized that it was indeed true—that Yeshua really is Israel’s Redeemer. Our circumstances were so similar. Ten years earlier I had stood just where Stephanie was standing—on the brink of discovering the greatest love I have ever known. I knew the bitterness of her tears and the depth of her fear as she contemplated the foreseeable shocked and angry reaction of her family. I also knew the great joy that awaited her.
Together we looked at the Scriptures. We saw Yeshua, crushed and pierced for our transgressions, first through the eyes of the Prophet Isaiah, and then through the New Testament accounts of the disciples who were actually there. We read Yeshua’s words of promise and encouragement for us to come and lay our burdens at his feet, and that he would never leave nor forsake us. Then, even as the Scriptures promise that perfect love casts out fear, Stephanie responded. In the knowledge of Yeshua’s love for her, she was freed from the fear that had kept her so long from making a commitment. She prayed and asked Yeshua to come into her heart and be her Messiah and Redeemer.
After she prayed, Stephanie looked at me with shining eyes. She described the peace she now felt as she was at last free from the burden of her struggle. We rejoiced together as sisters in our Messiah, and she went to tell her friends about her decision. Please remember our new sister as she grows in the Lord and reaches out to touch her family with the truth and Good News—that Messiah has come!