Our bibles lay side by side and open to the book of Luke on the dining room table, while light from a February thaw streams in the window. Notes cover both our pages. Mine with the dates of personal spiritual markers and notations, old and new. Hers is newly marked with Korean letters and reminders of what those words mean. Both highlighted with lessons and things that we have learned and are learning from Jesus.
Her fervent study inspires me. Everyday, she slowly pours over the words from both her Korean and English bible. Her questions are thoughtful and honest, both with her struggle to understand the English language and to understand Jesus. "Do you believe all these stories? Everything that it says He did?" she asks. I nod my head and we go back to the beginning of Luke.
"Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed." ~Luke 1:1-4
"I want to believe." she confesses, "But some of the miracles....I just can't imagine." Her life of studying science and chemistry weigh on her mind. How can the things she is learning be proven? I encourage her to keep praying. If you are seeking Him you will find Him.
"Can you tell me about this passage?" she asks as her eyes look up from her bible.
“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” ~ Luke 12:49-53
I encourage her to tell me what she thinks it means. "Jesus is the dividing line," she says. I nod in agreement. "Why do you think that is?" I ask her. "You are different when you believe in Him and you cannot be the same again. Those who believe will be with Jesus forever right? And those who don't will not." And then before I can respond she says, "My family is already divided. My Grandmother believes in Jesus but my family does not."
It is an admission that comes with the knowledge of understanding that no matter what she decides the division is real and it has already affected those she loves. I can see her heart hurting before my eyes. I share about how my family is divided and about those that I love who do not believe in Jesus. "I keep praying everyday that they will make a decision for Jesus," I confess. And then her confession, "My grandmother prays for me. She always tells me that I need turn to Jesus but I didn't really understand."
In that moment, my heart is intertwined with a woman on the other side of the world, who I have never met. I can imagine her praying for her family and for my friend. I am overwhelmed that God would see fit to bring Yuri here to our house to study English and now to learn about Jesus.
Three women now pray. One is searching and studying, seeking with her heart and longing to know more. One is praying beside and for the one seeking each day. And on the other side of the world a grandmother continues to pray for her family. Would you join us?