Coincidence or redemption?

304739_3515949143696_580974087_nBy now, many of my faith struggles are well-documented. I have few issues with Jesus, the man, but I’m still struggling with the thought of him being the only path to God (and was an agonizing crucifixion really the only way of atonement?). I can’t stomach the idea that people who follow the wrong doctrines can end up in hell. The Jew in me struggles to understand how this is “good news.”

But I’ve had moments in my life – several, in fact – that more or less affirm the idea of brokenness to redemption, by far Christianity’s most beautiful feature. And if those moments point to the God of the bible as the God, I’m willing to continue learning all I can about him:

It was at his funeral that I met the sister of a friend of mine who committed suicide in middle school. She became one of my most treasured friends, and our friendship went full circle when she was there for me at my father’s funeral.

It was because of seminary, an environment that was toxic to my faith, that I met my first Colorado best friend, Kerry (though it did cost me a few grand to meet her, and I joke about whether she would have paid the same amount just to meet me. She still hasn’t directly answered that question).

And then, some maybe-miracle stories: it was while pushing myself out of my comfort zone through “cold turkey” evangelizing with my college church (I was horrible at it) that I ran into a man I recognized from Campus Crusade for Christ (or “Cru”). That man is now my husband. And when I attempted to raise money for a summer retreat in Estes Park, Colorado, I was five hundred dollars short a week before the payment deadline. It was my Jewish grandparents who footed the rest of that bill, knowing full well what that money would support. They didn’t believe in the cause, but they believed in me.

Last but not least, it was cancer that forced my dad to retire early so we could receive disability insurance, but allowed him to fulfill his true vocation (albeit on a volunteer basis): high school track coach.

Are all those examples nothing more than coincidence? Maybe. If it wasn’t the hand of God, I’m not one to put stock in the ability of “the universe” to line things up for me just so I can be happy (the universe seems a little big to be concerned with the personal goings-on of one species on one of an infinite number of planets, but that’s just me). But too many coincidences in a row, or even in a short number of years, just make me wonder.


One thought on “Coincidence or redemption?

  1. Beth

    Our Sephardic chief rabbi Shlomo Amar said :

    “our(Jewish) way is to honour every religion and every nation according to their paths, as it is written in the book of prophets: ‘because every nation will go in the name of the L-rd.'”

    Also :

    “Likewise when foreigners, who are not of your people yisrael, come from a distant land because of your great name, and your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house, may you hear from heaven your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigners ask of you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people yisrael, and that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.”
    [2 Chronicles chapter 6 vs 32-33]

    Which is why Jews and Hindus ( a faith which at superficial might be seen as idolatrous) could pray at the Kotel together :

    “Despite snowy conditions in Jerusalem, the Hindu delegation visited and said their prayers at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites for Jews. The delegation also paid their respects to those who perished in the Holocaust during a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust victims.”(


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