A once in a lifetime visit
Susan Perlman reports from San Francisco, “Cynthia’s New York City apartment was filled with fine oil paintings. Her love of art was also apparent in the clothes and accessories she wore. And classy? In her day she had entertained the “who’s who” of New York society. I saw photos of presidents and other dignitaries all around the apartment! As we chatted it was clear that she was still very sharp and very spunky. Oh, by the way, Cynthia is 100 years old!
“‘So you know I came all the way across the country just to see you?’” I said.
“‘Really?’ she replied.
“‘Yes, I have an important message to give you. You know your friend Lisa really loves you and she wants the best for you, Cynthia.’ Cynthia nodded. ‘She wanted us to meet because while I’m Jewish like you, I happen to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. What do you think of that?”
“Cynthia said, ‘That’s fine.’ She was being polite. But would she hear more? I asked, ‘Can I tell you some of my story about why I believe what I believe?’
“‘Sure,’ she answered. Cynthia had no problem speaking her mind. Had she not wanted to hear, the conversation would have ended right there. But it didn’t. So I told her how decades ago, a Christian challenged me to read the Bible. And I recited the verse from the prophet Isaiah that had spoken to me: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned each one to his own way and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6).
“‘That is remarkable!’ Cynthia said, her eyes opened wide. I asked if she thought the prophet might have been describing Jesus. She replied that she thought it possible. It was a beautiful opportunity to explain the gospel to her. After that, I gave Cynthia my testimony booklet, Loss to Life, and showed her the section with several verses that explain how to have eternal life through Jesus. She wasn’t ready to take that step, nor did I expect her to—but she agreed to keep meeting with me on FaceTime (ah the joys of modern technology).
“I had brought her a little Hanukkah gift: two coloring books that I ‘wrote’ (and another Jewish believer in Jesus illustrated). One features Messianic prophecies, the other, the names of God. I hope that these Scripture-based gifts will also speak to her heart.
“I left the visit convinced that more than a seed was sown. Pray with me that Cynthia comes to know Jesus soon. I hope to keep up with her across the miles, but as far as sitting down together, at her age, ours might have been a once in a lifetime visit, in more ways than one.”
Names are changed to protect privacy.