Believe. That one little word has always been a powerful and important one in my life. But it took on a whole new level the Monday before Christmas 2003, when I silently asked God if a little Jewish girl from Scottsdale, Arizona could suddenly start believing in Jesus and become a Christian, if it was OK and right for me to do this preposterous thing, how I might actually go about doing it, and most importantly, how I could ever tell my mother.
I was speeding down the I-10 freeway in Phoenix, heading home to the cute little South Scottsdale house my sister and I shared, lost in a thoughtful conversation in my head with God, or some Godlike version of myself. I looked up from my reverie and saw my answer emblazoned on the rear license plate of the car in front of me. BLEEV. Just believe.
OK, I thought. I will. I do. I’ll just believe.
Goosebumps peaked up the flesh on my arms and I took a deep breath, knowing that God himself had just spoken directly to me. That license plate felt like my own burning bush. And every time I have shared that story with a Christian, they get tears in their eyes or chills through their body, so dramatic and miraculous a testimony it is.
But I rarely share the story with the Jewish people in my life, or my nonreligious friends. It’s embarrassing, even heretical to my Jewish upbringing. And realistically, practically, objectively speaking – I know that the license on some random person’s car, which I happened to look up and see at just the moment I asked God what I should do, was a mere coincidence.
But. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. That God is real. That there are no mere coincidences. That the things that come into our lives and consciousness and have meaning for us are not random, and are meant specifically for us, even if everyone else can see them too. That God is everywhere, and he can and does use signs and tiny miracles, even today in this seemingly un-miraculous time we live in.
There’s a lot more to the story. But I realized that today was the 17th anniversary of the day this happened, the Monday before Christmas, and just thought I’d share this little part of my story. Maybe someday I’ll get to the rest of the story!
The license plate in the picture is actually my license plate today. Mike ordered personalized plates for us both last year and was able to get BLEEEV. (Had to add an extra E since someone else already had BLEEV.) Maybe someone will look up at my license plate and feel a ray of sunshine, hope or inspiration, or get the answer to their question. Just believe. It’s usually a good answer.