“And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer . . . .” Romans 11:26
“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of they feet; and they shall call thee, The City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 60:14
Try backtracking to November of 1945. Imagine that you are 12 years old, in the 7th grade. However, you’ve only attended 10 days of school so far during that entire semester. In September you picked up a cold that mutated into a strep throat, hanging on for weeks and finally resulting in a serious case of pneumonia.
You lived in a small Wisconsin town which had no hospital. Your home was located 8o miles north of Milwaukee. You were sent to Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee for treatment—because a new miracle drug, penicillin (having been used in the armed forces during World War II), had recently been released to that hospital for civilian use.
You were a human guinea pig, alias pin cushion. Every 3 hours around the clock a nurse came at you, wielding something that looked like it could innoculate a buffalo. The needles hurt, and the serum was bulky and painful as it was administered into alternating buttocks. This delightful scenario lasted for 2 weeks, after which you were well enough to go home where you continued penicillin treatment—inhaling the drug through an apparatus that looked like a hookah.
I was that guinea pig/pin cushion. Praise God, I lived to tell about my introduction to penicillin. But what does my story have to do with the above-pictured Star of David? Specifically this: those 2 weeks were turned into a happy and memorable adventure by a loving Jewish family.
My hospital roommate was a middle-aged Jewish lady. I don’t remember her name, but I can still see her face and hear her voice in my mind. She was a serene, friendly lady and she talked and listened to me a lot. During visiting hours, our room filled with visitors–my roommate’s husband, other family members, and friends. Since my family members were miles away, this family “adopted” me instantly. They included me in all their greetings and conversations. They brought me candy and gifts, just as if I were their kid.
One day the husband (a large, jolly man) brought me a glass elephant with a turned up trunk which pointed skyward. He said he got it for me because the elephant’s trunk reminded him of my nose. Since his nose was definitely not turned up, we all laughed hilariously about that.
As I grew older, the hospital experience faded into the misty realm of nearly-forgotten nostalgia. But it left me with a priceless gift which I now realize is straight from God: a Jewish heart.
Years later, shortly after becoming a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ at age 37, I attended a Bible study on the book of Romans. The pastor explained in detail the truths of Romans 11: how the Jews have always been and and always will be God’s beloved, chosen people, and how the Lord Jesus will return to reign as King in Jerusalem—when “all Israel shall be saved”.
My response to the truths of Romans 11 was drastic. Love for the Jewish people welled up in me, and I did something I rarely do in public: I wept. As I sat there I recalled my Jewish family in that hospital room, and I reviewed the centuries of horrors endured by God’s chosen people—through the Holocaust, right up to the strife occurring in the Middle East at that very moment.
As a Christian, I realize that every moment of my life is known to God. In Eternity Past, He knew me and He planned my life. The hospital scenario was no accident; it didn’t “just happen”. God knew in Eternity Past that I would stand firmly with His nation, Israel. Years ago, long before I knew Him, God gave me a Jewish heart!
© Margaret L. Been
NOTE: I first published this account in 2008, on another one of my blogs: http://gracewithsalt.wordpress.com/ . It is still available on that site, via GOOGLE under the search term “My Jewish Heart”. Currently the reference is 7 down on the 1st GOOGLE page with those search words.
A repeat of this entry was precipitated by current events, our U. S. president’s policies, and a purchase I made recently at an antiques mall in Waukesha WI: a beautifully made sterling silver ring with a Star of David on it, and some Hebrew symbols—which I hope to research.
I have Star of David earrings, and a large Star of David pendant. I also have (and wear most of the time) a smaller Star of David with the Christian Cross in the center of the Star—and a ring with colorful stones representing each of the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Several times I’ve been questioned by Jewish people about my Jewish jewelry. When asked whether or not I’m Jewish, I always answer: “I’m a Christian with a Jewish heart.” On each occasion, this answer has been greeted with a spirit of friendship. One Jewish woman, a nurse at the hospital where Joe and I spent many days and nights in 2010 and 2011, replied: “Oh! I love you!”
As an ambassodor for Christ I love sharing that the Jews are God’s chosen people, and that Israel is His chosen nation! Since much of Scripture (Old and New Testament alike) proclaims this truth, it’s shameful and totally reprehensible that so many churches have discarded God’s unfailing truth for the un-Biblical notion that the Church is a “new Israel”.
When I hear of Replacement Theology I always wonder, “What Bible are these people reading?” Certainly not the precious Holy Bible which I hold in my hands! MLB