Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Personal Stories of Faith: A Different Journey
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

By Paula Sutcliffe
December 17, 2013

Paula Sutcliffe, Cathedral of All Saints I wish I could begin my faith story with a road to Damascus event - a dramatic before and after meeting with Jesus. I can't though, because I can remember always believing the Jesus story was somehow true, even when I was little. This might not seem unusual until I tell you that I grew up in a very secular Jewish family in New York City. My parents had lived through anti-Semitism and the Second World War. Jewish, definitely yes. Temple goers, no. Deep inside, though, I knew there was more, and the Jesus story just felt right. Still, I never turned to Him, except when things would get rough in my life and I would sneak into a church to light a candle and pray. Did I pray to Jesus then? I don't remember, but the rough time would be resolved and I would go back to living, often rebelliously, as before.

At 19, I went to Ireland hoping to explore the world. I ended up in London, studying Nursing. I argued with the Nurses' Christian Union, secretly hoping that they would be proved right. I was taken to hear John Stott and Billy Graham. I went up at the altar call. Nothing dramatic happened. I was still the same old Paula (or so I thought). My "hook" if you will, wasn't Scripture. It was a book called The Towers of Trebazond by the English (and Anglican) author Rose Macaulay. The heroine in the novel never lost her faith, rather she kept running from it all the while knowing the consequences of turning her back on Jesus. It sounded all too close to home for me. Yet still I held back. I worked on a Kibbutz for 3 months in Israel - but there was no talk of God. I went back to New York City and resumed the on-again off-again pattern of my youth.

Read the full story at www.VirtueOnline.org

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