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The Miracle of Witnessing
(It may seem crazy, but listen to God).

Have you ever had bad things happen to you, things that seemed so impossible and unbelievable you just had to step back and shake your head, to remind yourself that it was real? Throughout my life, there have been several incidents and because my faith in God has always been so very strong, I give the credit to God and His miracle-working powers. Perhaps it is also my outlook of looking at life as one big opportunity, and am always, therefore, looking for those earth-shattering, make-you-stop-and-stare incidents. Whatever the reason, those kind of incidents are relatively normal in my life, but there is one that takes the prize for reminding me that even two thousand years after He died, Jesus is still working miracles.

My fourth grade year in school was the only year that my sister and I ever rode a school bus. That's the first strange coincidence to the miracle that would occur many years later. The second is that I remember when I stepped on the bus, it was crowded with only one seat left. It was so crowded, in fact, that my sister and I were unable to sit side by side, as we usually did.

So, I took my seat beside this little girl I'd never seen before. I do not remember what she looked like...in fact, I remember very little about her expressions, or her mannerisms, or anything. What I remember, clear as though it happened yesterday, was that, from the moment I sat down, I heard a voice inside my head, saying, "Ask her if she knows about Adam and Eve."

Like Abraham in the bible, I argued vehemently, saying, "Adam and Eve? No way. She'll laugh my head off. No."

The voice, though, was insistent. "Ask her if she knows about Adam and Eve."

By this time, my heart was in my throat, because I simply knew that this girl was going think I was insane. Everybody knew about Adam and Eve: why couldn't He haven't chosen something a little less obvious, like, maybe, Jonah and the whale, or, you know, Moses and the Israelites :), something there may have been a chance she hadn't heard of. I didn't particularly want to be laughed at.

But...

I knew, even more clearly than I knew I was about to be laughed at, that the voice was the voice of God and I had been taught to always, under any circumstances, even if it meant being laughed at, listen to the voice of God. I distinctly remember sighing and rolling my eyes heavenward, as if to say, "The things You make me do..." and then I turned my head to see the little girl. She was looking out the window when I quietly mumbled, "Hmm... do you know who Adam and Eve are?"

There are simply no words in my vocabulary to describe my utter shock when she shook her head. She didn't laugh at me and she didn't turn away. I was floored. I mean, I was literally unable to open my mouth, because the thought that there were people who actually didn't know about the love God gives them just blew me away. My shock lasted for about two seconds and then it clicked: I knew what I was supposed to and I spent the rest of that bus trip talking about Adam and Eve and then we graduated to Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale, Jesus, of course, and anything else I could think of to shock her as she had shocked me when she said she didn't know who Adam and Eve were.

I don't remember her reaction, except I do remember she listened very well and she appeared to be interested. I didn't give her a chance to say much, because I didn't stop talking until I stepped off that bus. She got a very long and very descriptive narrative that I could only, at that time, pray she was believing. The only other really distinctive thing I can remember is that, when I stepped off the bus, I had, up to that point in my life, never been as proud of myself for anything. I had listened and I hadn't gotten laughed at :-). The warm, peaceful, and proud feeling lasted me throughout the entire day and when I got home, I told my mother about it.

Ever since then, she's crossed my mind a million times. I remember crying over her, thinking, "Okay, if she didn't know who Adam and Eve were, then her parents either didn't know or they were nonbelievers and so had taught this child not to believe either" and maybe it was because I was very naive and perhaps a little arrogant, but that was just so sad to me that she didn't at least know of God and what I knew He could do for her. I worried over her year after year and could only pray, again and again, that she had met someone who had reinforced what I had told her, and that she had come to know Christ.

I'd always prayed that somehow, someway, I would be able to learn what happened to her but, deep down, I never believed I would until I reached heaven. Thus comes the second part of the miracle.

When I was in my freshman year of college, I attended a private university, where Bible class was required. My professor gave an assignment where we had to do something that was "different" from what we would normally do, and it had to be off campus. One of the options he gave was attending a Jewish synagogue. For years before this, I had studied the Holocaust and the Jewish people and had always wanted to attend one of their services but had never really had the opportunity, nor really the initiative.

Until that assignment.

So I went to the Jewish synagogue and was simply .... overwhelmed by the peace and the warmth I felt there. There was so much love in that place that it kept drawing me back and I continued going. I have now been attending regularly every service (in addition to my Bible-shouting, Jesus-praising Pentecostal church =) for a year.

A few services ago, in December, was the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, which celebrates religious freedom. The synagogue was hosting a Hanukkah dinner and the President of the congregation invited me to come. So, I did, without knowing a single soul there. My family did not want to attend, because it wasn't a Christian place, really, but a Jewish one, and so I went alone. That was, in itself, odd because I rarely attend social function, especially alone. When I checked into the dinner, I was assigned a table with four other people, whom I had never met.

Once dinner was underway, I was conversing with the people at my table when I realized that I was being watched by someone behind me. I glanced over my shoulder and there was a young girl, approximately my age, staring at me and she stared at me the entire meal. But I couldn't place her. In fact, I was almost positive I'd never seen her before in my life and it was making me somewhat uncomfortable to be scrutinized so closely. At the end of the meal, one of the guys at my table offered to go introduce ourselves with me to the girl, and I accepted.

The girl was very curt with the man who introduced us but was awestruck it seemed when she spoke to me. I mentioned my name was Tiffini and she merely nodded, as if she'd already been aware of my name. When the man asked her her name, though, she either didn't hear him because she was so emotionally distraught or she chose to ignore him. Either way, she didn't tell us her name and, to leave the close scrutiny, I decided to go into the chapel for services.

Throughout the entire service, she stared at me. Finally, at the end of the service, I saw tears in her eyes and decided that she must have been pretty sure of my identity and I was almost positive that she knew, in her own mind, that she didn't have me mixed up with someone else. So, I went back to her and said hello. She apologized for staring at me and told me that we had known each other a very long time ago. I asked her if I had gone to school with her and she shook her he ad and said she couldn't remember but that she wouldn't be here (at the synagogue) had it not been for me. I hugged her, because it was obvious she was emotionally strung and then said I had to go.

I stopped on the way out and spoke with the President of the congregation who told me the girl's name was remember I didn't know and never had known a Keri. Confused an upset I headed out of the building to go home. I reached the door and suddenly something she'd said banged through my memory like a bullet.

"I'm - I'm not really Jewish," I told her and the strangest thing to me was that she smiled and she nodded.

"I know."


It dawned on me suddenly that there was no way we could have known each "a long time ago" and have her know that I wasn't Jewish unless... but she had known my name and I knew I had never told the girl my name. However, my sister was on that bus, too and we sat together every day, so I finally realized that she must have, that day, a day before or sometime after our time together on the bus, heard my sister call my name and remembered it. I look exactly the same today as I did the day I was born so it didn't surprise me at all that she recognized my face.

I had to make sure, though, so I went back and spent the next hour talking to Keri, learning that she was at a religious place, and was someone who genuinely loves Christ. She was the girl that I had talked to so long ago, the girl I had cried about over the years and wondered about, the girl I'd prayed to find out what had happened to.

I get chills down my back every single time I talk about it. There were so many miracles that played a part in this: number one, I was very young and yet I still listened to the voice. Then, my love and fascination with the Holocaust allowed me to be open enough to attend the service when I could have chosen a number of other projects for my class. The fact that going to the synagogue was offered as an option for the project was, in itself, a miracle. And the fact that I attended that dinner, when I have never attended any social function alone, is amazing.

Our lives are shaped by little moments that sometimes make no sense, but it's important, so important, that we heed those little words inside of us, and that we tell the message of God. It really, honestly does change lives. It changed Keri's life. It changed my life, too because it showed me that I have nothing in this world to be shy about, with my beliefs, and that I have the right and really should talk about them with others. This incident is just one more reminder of the power of God and that, though we may not be able to physically see Christ raise another Lazaros from the dead, miracles
are being performed, in each of our lives.