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