The short story: Twenty years–half my life–up the road with Jesus, from the gentle embrace of the shimmering forests of Northern Wisconsin, I 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. I have been blessed to teach Plato, read Austrian economics, help students, and advise a student club. In short, I look forward to the Kingdom and want every cell of my body resonating with the sound of the voice of God meanwhile.
The longer story: 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 while falling madly in love with Toronto and living in an international student house in a Jewish Chabad neighborhood, all the while immersed in ear-splitting preaching and the onionskin pages of the KJV.
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 an 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 small 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. 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 say this: I am one of the many gentiles who try to follow Jesus in a faith and practice he would recognize. I am eager for his 613 just laws instead of an uncountable number of sometimes arbitrary ones, with an appreciation for the Law of God that was helped by 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, from the cloud of his presence among those black and white letters on the page. I wake up each day in a world held together by the Word of God, and I want 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 was formed in the womb, forty years up the road with Jesus.
I’d love to meet you on this side of the Millennial Reign. What inspires your soul?
Blessing, mercy, life, and peace to you, Radiant Ones,