About a year ago, Oct, 2010, author Bruce Wilkenson, who wrote the book, The Prayer of Jabez, came to Northwoods Church in Peoria and talked about God, Jesus and Spirit. At end, those who were so moved, were asked to go up front and prayed to recognize “signs” and follow God's signs. If you know me, you know I am a “sign” person, so I prayed that I would be open to and follow the signs.
About one year later, at the end of September, 2011, I was at a convention in St. Louis and as part of my job, I took a picture with my phone for our corporate newsletter. I checked to see if the picture was good and noticed a very vivid picture of Jesus in my phone! I stood there frozen in disbelief and the 5 people I was with saw my reaction. Without saying a word, I showed the others and they immediately recognized it as Jesus. They thought a picture of Jesus was no big deal and wondered why I had a reaction of disbelief. I explained to them that I had no idea how it got there as I am Jewish and have not downloaded, saved, nor have any use for a picture of Jesus on my phone!
I went to my hotel room and checked hundreds of internet pictures to see if I could find anything like it, but could not. So I then called my roommate, Lori to see if she had sent me a picture of Jesus and said she had not. About an hour later, I decided to send the Jesus photo to Lori to see if she would remember taking or seeing the picture, but Jesus had disappeared from my phone and I did not delete it! The picture was totally gone!
The next morning, a friend, with whom I had not spoken in many months called and since she was a minister, I thought she would be a good person to tell about Jesus appearing on my phone. Said her prayers were answered, as she was praying for me to find Jesus. (I don't think she meant in my phone!) She said he must want to talk to me. So later I called Lori and got same response: she was praying for years for me to find Jesus.
As I take signs seriously, I take this seriously too, and it makes me pay attention! When I get nudged or hear words that come to me, I am compelled to follow, e.g. visiting a dying acquaintance on her deathbed when I did not want to go, but turns out they were expecting me. (That's another story.) Or when the dragonflies permeated my life and probably saved it. (That's another story, too.)
The next Friday night, I went to temple services and a visiting scholar was there from the rabbinic college in Cincinnati. I told him about Jesus showing up in my phone and he said he had never heard of this happening before. He had nothing more to say about that.
Two days later, we had a Mitzvah day (day of good deeds) at temple. One of the many projects was making peanut butter and jelly for a shelter. I sat at a long empty table, and then I was surrounded by a group of young folks I did not recognize. It turns out that they were all from Eureka College, majoring in philosophy and religion. So I told the story of seeing Jesus in my phone and good discussions ensued. One said, “Most Christians wait their whole lives to see Jesus. I wish I could have been a little bug in their classroom discussions on the following day!
On Friday, December 2nd, 3 months to the day from seeing Jesus on my phone, I went to Grace Presbyterian Church for their Christmas program with Lori. This is what she wanted to do for her birthday. This was a particularly stressful time for me as my roof had been leaking since the middle of October, all my ceilings were ruined, the roof was not complete, I had no money to hire new roofers, I had to get an attorney for help on this and winter had arrived, I did not know what I was going to do. Even if I could afford it, how could they roof my house in cold and snow?
The Christmas program was wonderful. The music was beautiful and they told the story of Jesus. What was weird to me is that I got chills during the story of Jesus. To me chills come from hitting a deep truth in my heart. I thought that was weird and could not understand my reaction to the Jesus story!
At end of program, everyone was asked to pray as a group, but, as usual, when I am in church I do my own prayer and change Jesus to God to make it relevant to me. So I prayed I needed a miracle with December upon us and a leaky roof, I needed weather that would allow workers to finish roof. Besides, if I God wanted me to put my faith in Jesus, then, come to me again like you did in my phone the first time 3 months ago!
The next day, I was looking at the roofing pictures in my phone, as I was documenting the disaster; I see a strange video amongst the pictures (not in my videos.) I played it and it was a video of Jesus was walking toward me. Don't know how this got there! That night I prayed for help with my roof and finances, and I asked what I am supposed to do with all this and words came, “Tell others”. This was very clear.
The next day at work, I told a coworker, showed her the video, and she said she had just prayed for a sign of Jesus for herself and kids as to how to bring them up with religion. She is taking this all as HER sign.
I scheduled a meeting the next day with my Rabbi who then referred me to another rabbi who deals w/ “signs”. I spoke with the second rabbi on the phone and was not motivated to speak with him again.
Two days later, got a call from Pastor Cal and I “got it”. I realized I am Jewish and can believe that Jesus was here and is here for us. As we are body, mind and spirit, God the spirit sent someone we as people could relate to. Since we can’t physically see the God the Spirit, he sent the embodiment of spirit so we can relate and he could give us his message. This feels like something I can handle. I just can't wrap my mind around the dying for our sins thing, but I am a work in progress.
On the following Saturday, I was at Wal-Mart and saw Pastor Tim, who I knew from my roommate. He was at another cash register. We finished paying at the same time, so I called his name, told him the story and showed him the video. He said I made his day, and we prayed together, right in the middle of Wal-Mart. I could not believe I was standing there and doing that!
Exactly one week from the video appearing on my phone, I was playing a word search game on my phone. The words were not in categories, just random, common words. I was shocked to find Jesus as one of the words! He is really trying to tell me something!
OK, I get the message!
Two days after the word search game, I was telling someone at work about the game. I showed the common words in the search, then went to new game and up came 3 words in it: miraculous, sin, and prayer. I could not believe it! What next?
My daughter and grandchildren came for a visit. My house was a mess with the roofing disaster so they stayed at a motel. I had just finished telling her my Jesus story and when we left the motel, as we were pulling out, just as a car pulled in with license plate "Miracle". My daughter and I just looked at each other and said, "Of Course!"
The Saturday day before Christmas, I went to Northwoods Church with my roommate for their Christmas presentation. I sat down next to a gentleman and was nudged to say something to him. "Talk to him" I just wanted to sit there and mind my own business! I did not know what to say to this stranger, so I said “Merry Christmas”. He shrugged. Then I was told "He needs you, talk to him," and was nudged to pursue the issue. So I asked if he was having a good Christmas and he said no. Then I can't believe what came out of my mouth. I told him that Jesus was there for him. Who do I think I am? So I told him I am Jewish and Jesus has found me and told him the story you are reading here. Then he thanked me for sharing and told me he is a pastor and came for inspiration. I told him Pastor Cal wanted to see me after the service (With almost 2000 people in attendance, I don't know where that came from when it flew out of my mouth.) I asked if he wanted to meet Pastor Cal. He said yes. I told him there are no coincidences or accidents. I believed our meeting was divinely planned. After the program, went up front, Pastor Cal hugged me, met Pastor David and we left. Upon leaving, David and I hugged big and went our separate ways.
I was ready to leave church, before the next service, when I ran into and old acquaintance and told her the story. She said that she is never arrives early at church, but must have come early to hear my Jesus story. She thanked me and we parted.
Now I am not surprised when something comes out of my mouth. For example, my friend, age 96, asked me about her late husband, “ Why did he have to die on my birthday?” I told her he was born in heaven on that day. She said she never thought of it that way. I hope she feels better about it.
New Year's weekend: I was keeping my minister friend informed as she asked me to do and she insisted on buying me a Bible. I really did not want one, as I was not ready or wanted to pick one out for myself, but that voice inside told me it was important for her to give it to me, so I let her. It was perfect! I could not have picked a better one, nor more beautiful! How meaningful!
On January 9th, I was driving out of town listening to a Jackie Evancho (America's Got Talent) music CD. She was singing the Lord's Prayer and it touched me to the point of crying, even sobbing. It never affected me like that previously. It just hit me at my core. It feels like something is happening to me!
On January 30, I got the nudge to tell this story with the person who came to touchup the painting after the roofing disaster repairs. So I told the story and after I finished, the words came, "She needed to reaffirm her faith." I don't know if my story helped, but I have faith in some way that it did.
Today, I am nudged to email YOU and that is what I am doing. Just doing what I am told.
I don't know exactly what is happening to me, and, yes, I am still Jewish, just one who believes in Jesus/God and that Jesus was here and is here for us. As we are body, mind and spirit, God sent someone we as people could relate to. Since we can’t physically see the God the Spirit, he sent the embodiment of spirit so we can relate and he could give us his message. This feels like something I can relate to. As I said, I am a work in progress and will “tell others” as I was told. Every time I look at my phone, I wonder if the video of Jesus will still be there among my pictures.
So far, He has not left me.
In love and light, Rhonda
Written by Rhonda Washer - Reposted with permission.