Twenty years–half my life–up the road with Jesus, from the gentle embrace of the shimmering forests of Northern Wisconsin, this smirking truth-seeker went to college, spent a semester abroad in Cambridge, flitted through a year-long master’s program in Toronto, and returned to the bleak Wisconsin fen to deliver pizza, work an office job, marry a Jewish Christian, and emancipate myself from the eight-to-five by taking an adjunct position at a two-year college. There I have been blessed to teach Plato, read Austrian economics, help students, and advise the Libertarian Club–in short, advance the Kingdom of God in the smallest of ways.
Casually meeting Jesus during an assigned reading of the Gospel of Mark in a New Testament class as a college freshman, I decided he didn’t deserve to die. This changed everything. Baptized in water and filled to overflowing with the spirit just a month before turning twenty-one, I came to my senses under a world-class philosopher at a no-name university, acquired my master’s at the University of Toronto while falling madly in love with the city and living in an international student house in a Chabad neighborhood, all the while being immersed in ear-splitting preaching and the onionskin pages of the KJV.
In the middle of those years, I married a Christian, ethnically Jewish spirit-filled believer, uneasily because didn’t the Bible say something about that? But B”H, four months later, an Orthodox Jewish believer in Jesus came to my city and taught on Pentecost, the Sabbath, Galatians, and took the class through the Orthodox Passover Haggadah in a pre-Passover demonstration where we ate our way through redemption–past, present, future. This changed everything.
I remember the first Friday night after those teachings. Our newlywed apartment lit with two lone candles, I lay on the futon in our living room and watched the shadows deepen into dark. It was the Sabbath, and I woke up to holy time for the first time in my life; I had no idea what to do. When Passover came, my Seder-for-one permeated the apartment with the smell of rotten meat; I didn’t know lamb wasn’t supposed to be gray; I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to have lamb. Eventually, I left my church, feeling I was being dishonest by silence and divisive by speaking. My husband did not force me to stay. Within a few years, he left too. Serendipitous events brought our lives in contact with loose-knit, diverse micro-communities of the post-churched. For a time, I was nicknamed Matriarch of the Feast Days, and people came from surrounding cities: we couldn’t fit them all in our home anymore, and I took a break to be rolled and crushed by the love of God. This is still changing everything.
So in trying to answer the question of who I am as the writer of Move from this Mountain, I’ll try this: I am one of the many gentiles who try to follow Jesus in a faith and practice he would recognize. I am looking forward to the Kingdom of God, 613 just laws instead of an uncountable number of sometimes arbitrary ones, with an appreciation for the Law of God that comes directly out of reading Bastiat’s The Law. Because both my husband and Lord are Jewish, I live in the unrelenting tension of Jew/gentile relations preserved in the apostolic writings. I read the Torah portions and am in love with the God who speaks there. I live and love in a world held together by the Word of God, and I want to write to share how amazing and glorious it looks from here, his calendar in the skies above me, his faithfulness in the ground beneath my feet, knowing I’ve been loved by God since before I formed in the womb, forty years up the road with Jesus.
I’d love to meet you on this side of the Millennial Reign. There is much work to be done while we’re waiting.
Blessing, mercy, life, and peace to you, Radiant Ones,