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The Christmas season was a magical time, made all the more special because I got to experience the magic twice.I helped pick out and decorate two Christmas trees, one at my mother’s house and one at my father’s.His sermons would weave together threads from philosophy, history, music, literature, and even popular culture.I had never heard anyone talk about the Bible, or Jesus, the way Keller did.About a year into this unlikely journey I came to the conclusion that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity being true.But this was a head decision, not one of the heart.
A few months into the relationship he confronted me with a question I didn’t expect to get from any person I knew: “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? But it turned out that the church he attended was pastored by a man named Tim Keller, who might be the most persuasive Christian apologist and evangelical pastor of his generation (if not the century).
When they asked me if there were any deal breakers, I explained there was only one: No religious people. My boyfriend then explained that he saw a future for us, but that he couldn’t marry someone who didn’t accept Jesus as their Savior.
Shortly after I made that declaration, I started dating a guy who mentioned, in passing, that he attended a Presbyterian church. But I liked him, and because I was so religiously illiterate, I didn’t understand that some Presbyterian churches are evangelical. But then he told me something that I had never heard: “If you can keep an open mind,” he said, “God can reveal Himself to you.” This didn’t sound right to me, but I had so much respect for this man that I didn’t feel I could dismiss his claim out of hand.
n my unorthodox childhood, Christmas was as an oasis of normalcy.
It was the one day of the year I could count on some sort of harmony in my divided family.
And then one morning I awoke from a dream in which Jesus had come to me and said, “Here I am.” I was overwhelmed and frightened because the experience was so real.