How in the world did my wife Channa and I migrate from our youthful mixture of atheism (Channa) and agnosticism (Dikkon), through a quarter century of children-rearing in Reform Judaism, into middle-aged flirtation with Orthodox Judaism, and then--
Yes…and then what?
Up-staking and putting all that history behind, we trudged, like Abram, off into the wilderness.
Where were we going? Like Abram, we did not know.
God told Abram that He would make a great people of Abram and his family. God did not tell us anything like that.
But God did promise that truth was to be discovered out there.
If you are a Jew, then God bless you.
I welcome you as a Jew to my website and to this blog post. Neither the website nor the blog post should trouble your faith. We supported your faith for many years and continue to love it dearly today.
But many Jewish friends and relatives are curious about our conversions to Christianity. Why did they happen?
We were asked, “Oughtn’t Judaism to have been enough?”
Theologically no, but not, in our estimation, for our on-going worldview either.
If you are a Christian, then God bless you, too. Christians are curious as well.
Christians are not curious about why—they already know why. Their question is how? How were we called? What did we experience that prompted so dramatic a change?
And last—totally weird!—why did we even contemplate a religious change in our late 50s and early 60s? By then, most people have had enough change in their lives.
The children have grown up and gone away. The career is at its height and is easier to manage. The house is paid for, or mostly so.
Why on earth would anyone set out to cross a dry desert of religious discontent at that age? Looking for what?
But Abram did it, we remembered, and he was eighty. If Abram could do it, we could, too—young sixty-somethings as we were.
We were looking for truth. That’s what it was.
For us it was this—it was being restless, eager, unwilling to settle…it was searching; that’s what it was.
And it was this, too--
It was a miracle.
We trudged across that parched religious desert. When we reached its other side, we found a religious river barring our way. We needed to take just one more step forward, or—alternatively—just one more step back.
The miracle was Jesus--Jesus!—saying softly in my ear, “If you’ll take one step, I’ll take two.”
There’s a song about that. Maybe you know the song and can hear that line as part of the refrain in your head. Even if you don’t know the song, I’m sure you can believe that Jesus would have said something like that, if Jesus were a Christian country music song writer.
What He actually said was, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt 4:18, NASB.)
Well, not to Channa and me precisely. We don’t fish. But suddenly we did feel His urgency that we should follow.
Next: Chapter Two