Jerry Martin’s Daybook

I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church. Abigail is Jewish. When I first fell in love, I didn’t know if a sophisticated girl like her could accept a boy born in the Texas Panhandle. It turns out that, as a kid, she had gone to Quaker work camp in the North Carolina hills, and had come to love country gospel, which she listens to each morning as she does her exercises. When I learned that, I knew she was not an uppity New Yorker. Vacationing in a small town in Maine, we went to her country gospel at a local evangelical church that met in a Quonset hut. Abigail had never been to a Christian church. She kept her head down and, indeed, when the preacher got to the Rapture and how all those who not accept Christ would be left behind, she slumped lower in her seat. We made a quick retreat afterwards, but the minister’s wife did manage to shake our hands. Eating at the local diner afterwards, who came in but the wife and a gaggle of ladies from the church. Seeing us, she came over. Abigail told her she was Jewish and the minister’s wife said, with obvious sincerity, “We love Jews!” Having a Jew visit was almost an occasion for celebration. Maybe the Lord told them, as he did Paul, “stop persecuting my people!”

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