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MY TESTIMONY

PART FOUR


Animated Thunderstorm


I didn't tell anybody about my acceptance of the Messiah for almost five months. I wasn't to sure how people would react, especially my family. I found that out when I went home for the "Pesah" (Passover) Seder Meal and take part in the "Haggadah".

Things happened quite quickly and suddenly when I rang the doorbell of my old house. My father opened up the door and asked me how I was. I came right out and said that I had accepted the "Mashiach" (Messiah) that the Christians believed in.

My father's reaction was just like the lightning storm shown at the top of the page. He started to curse and scream at me that I was no longer his son and my birth rite had been stripped. He said that his eldest son had committed suicide. In the Orthodox Jewish faith, suicide is considered to be the most Cardinal Sin and it's result is a path straight to Hell, utter damnation, and no chance for reconciliation. By tradition, the first born son was considered to be "HASHEM's" (the L-RD's) child and dedicated to some form of religious practice. I had became a "Rashim" (a vessel fit for destruction) to my father.

I could see through the opened door, my mother crying and going out of the front room into the kitchen and closing the kitchen door. I never caught sight of my sisters and brother. Before the front door was closed on me for good, I watched my grandmother go to a bureau drawer and remove a white mourning cloth that she used to cover up my picture that was hanging on the wall. Other white cloths came out of the bureau to cover up the other pictures on the walls and the wall mirror was turned around so that the glass was facing the wall. My father yelled out before slamming the door that from now on I would be just a stranger to my family and would be treated like if I was a ghost.

This was an utter shock. In a few months, I would have my twentieth birthday. Here, I was forever cut off from my family. To top this off, I was told through some friends that there had been a funeral for me at the synaguoge that I used to attend the next day. What could be inside the plain wooden box that had no metal in it but an empty burial shroud and possibly a sprinkling of dirt from the Holy Land? Did my parents ceremoniously call the "Chevra Kaddisha" - Holy Brotherhood of Washers to come and wash my spiritual body in the ritual way and prepare it for burial that night? Did my family tear their clothes and sit on low stools or boxes for the seven days of mourning. Was
"Kaddish" (the Mourner's Prayer) spoken for me in the synaguoge by a quorum of ten over the age of thirteen? In the synaguoge's cemetery, there was even a tombstone placed in its grounds with my name on it. For my family and former congregation, I was no longer one of them but a "Goyim" (Gentile).

There was no turning back in my new faith. You can't very well remove a tombstone when it had been placed in a cemetery and wish that things would be like they were before. I learned later while studying the New Testament that in "MATIT'YAH" (MATTHEW) 19:29 it said that sometimes you had to even forsake your father and mother to follow the Messiah. If I hadn't been strong in my faith and belief, I probably would have contemplated suicide but this for sure wasn't the right answer.




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