Jerry Martin’s Daybook

Abigail and I both like country and Western music, especially old-fashioned gospel – familiar to me from my Texas roots, loved by her despite being a Jewish, sophisticated New Yorker. A few years ago, it was parade day in the small Maine town we were visiting. Across the street, we heard a group making a “joyful noise unto the Lord.” They were from a local church that was featuring a special singer, Diane Muse, the following night. It turned out to be the sort of Quonset church where they talk a lot about the Rapture. Slated to be “left behind,” Abigail slunk lower in her seat. The singing was great and I wanted to linger and thank the singer and preacher, but she was uncomfortable and we rounded our shoulders and slipped out.

But we visited again the next year. This time, Abigail confronted her situation straight on. She told the preacher’s wife that she appreciated the music and the earnest preaching but that she was Jewish and did not share their beliefs. Without a pause, the wife burst forth, “We love Jews!” “Really?” These were Christians who had not forgotten that Jesus was a Jew and that God already had an ongoing covenant with the Jews and, as evangelicals like to say, “God doesn’t break His word.” We were in that same town again in July. They were having Wednesday night prayer meeting, and we went again, hoping to hear some singing. Well, no singing, all talk. To our surprise, the pastor’s wife recognized Abigail and said she had often thought about meeting her before and Abigail’s words had stuck with her. We were greeted warmly by the whole group. I have been less candid. I have not told them about my experience in talking to God. I don’t know what they could do with the information. I have no desire to disturb those who connect with God through their understanding of His earlier big communication, but I have never been sure I shouldn’t say: You know, God may not have gone silent. If we continue to listen, there may be more to the story.
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