A Chance Encounter in Barnes & Noble
I went to put the book I decided not to buy away and wandered over to the Judaica section of the bookstore I was in. A couple in their 60’s or so were browsing. We struck up a conversation. “I’m going to be speaking on Hanukkah soon and I wondered if I could find any piece of unusual information,” I said while browsing through a few titles. The man started to look for me and we found an interesting piece of information neither of us knew before. So now we were friends, sort of. They were visitors but wanted to find a synagogue to buy a Hanukkah menorah while here. I told them where the synagogue is. Before I found out they were leaving town in two days I invited them to come to Elim, the new Messianic congregation in town, explaining that we were a group interested in sharing our Jewishness with Christians as well. He told me their congregation in Milwaukee was reaching out to Muslims and Christians, so this wasn’t unusual to them.
As we chatted, I told them how I had once asked my rabbi how come God doesn’t speak to us anymore. This got their attention. He stopped flipping through the book he was looking at. Then I told them that one day I heard His voice - one that seemed to carry an unchallengeable authority. I really had their attention with that and when I then said, "I also heard a deep tenderness and caring in His voice" and the woman said, "Ahhh," as if she was touched by moment.
Then I told them, "His voice was like that of a 30 something-year-old, not like the ancient of days as you would expect. I knew I had heard the voice of God. And I knew it was Jesus' voice I heard. At that moment I also knew that I knew that He is our Messiah. At this, the woman's pupils did constrict somewhat, but they both kept listening as I told them a bit more in the few moments I had with them. I told them how I had asked the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "If Jesus really is the Messiah, then I want Him in my life, but if He’s not, please don’t be mad at me for asking." They both chuckled slightly, able to relate to the dilemma I was facing at that time. Then they were off to the synagogue to buy the menorah. We bid each other a warm "Shalom" as they left. I hope it was enough information should they ever want to ask God the same question. Would some of you reading this say a prayer for this delightful Jewish couple?