THIS IS ONE OF THE STRANGEST STORIES I have to tell.
Back in 1988 I was editing a magazine that Bible study teachers in several denominations used in their church Sunday School classes. At the beginning of the magazine, on the inside front cover, I always wrote a short introduction to the study. This particular study was about Jesus. Here’s how I began the introduction, which I titled “Who in the world is Jesus?”
I had stared at the walls of my office for an hour and a half, trying to figure out how to introduce this study about who Jesus is.
In fact, I became so desperate I finally called my two-year-old daughter for help.
“Rebecca,” I said. “You sing songs about Jesus, don’t you?”
“Who is Jesus?” I asked”
“Pahtu,” she replied. With the instinct of a theologian, she made up a word for something she didn’t understand.
A colleague of mine in another denomination, Carl Pierce, apparently liked my introduction. So he used it in his magazine for adult students in The Wesleyan Church. It was kosher. Several denominations pooled their resources to produce these studies.
Now read the letter above, which came from a Wesleyan missionary to Nepal. She later told me that she had served there for almost 30 years, from 1958-1987.
Margaret wrote me saying,
“There is a much loved children’s song which translates into: ‘Jesus is my shepherd, I am singing his goodness. I follow behind him as a little lamb.’ The word for ‘lamb’ used in this song…transliterates ‘Pahto.’ The same word can be used in speaking of Jesus as the Lamb of God.”
I guess all of this could have been a coincidence. That’s probably what many would say.
But I have to tell you that it didn’t feel like a coincidence. It felt like one of those far-too-rare moments when God pops in to say, “I’m still here.”
Bible Gateway Blogger
Awesome story, Steve!
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks, Steve. It was a memorable day when Carl forwarded that letter to me. I wasn’t sure about it at first, so I checked into it and sent followup letters to the missionary. It’s legit.
So neat and powerful!
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks, Brian. That’s how I felt about it.