Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Of the Past and the Future

I didn't join the fall reading challenge. But I read constantly. Right now I'm re-reading the Zion Covenant series by Bodie Thoene. This series was written in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I am on the 5th book of 6 in this series. These books chronicle the march of Hitler across Europe, chasing the Jewish people out of each country he overtook. They are painful to read and make me angry. But I can't put them down! Prior to this series, she wrote one called Zion Chronicles, about the Jewish families who were able to get to Palestine, their "promised land." They were written out of chronological order, so I had to go back and read them in order. Now I'm reading the Covenant series again. I don't know if I'll be able to go through the Chronicles again, because they are so sad and frustrating and so much like today's newspaper.

For some reason, this reading of some of the Middle East history, together with the news all day every day about Iraq and Iran, and the fact that my niece is married to an Iranian young man, has led me back in my memory to early high school in Minnesota.

We were living in a suburb, out on a county road with only about 6 houses near us. Across an empty field, there was a subdivision of many more houses. We had to ride the bus to school and in that way my sis and I became acquainted with Maryam and Elli Ali Abadi. Maryam was my age and Elli was hers. They were living with a U of M professor, because their parents wanted them to go to school in America. We learned, as we became better acquainted, that their father was the Deputy Prime Minister of Iran - 3 pegs below the Shah. Remember what happened to the Shah? He escaped because of his health and ended up over here, but all of his regime was killed. I am sure their father was among the victims.

I am certain Maryam and Elli were Muslim, but we didn't discuss that. I remember meeting their mother, who was very beautiful. She didn't wear anything to cover her beautiful face. The thing that stands out the most in my memory is riding the bus every day and talking to Maryam. I didn't try to convert her. But I did plant some seeds. I was in teen quizzing at the time at our church and really enjoyed it. This was before quizzing became as big as it is today, and there were not workbooks written yet. I was a new typist, and spent hours going through the book of Matthew, creating over 100 questions of my own (or maybe it was Acts, I can't remember for sure). Every day, Maryam would help me study by asking me the questions. I was a pretty good quizzer, and I can never forget the wonderful things I learned. But I often think that this was possibly the only time Maryam was exposed to the Holy Scriptures. I wonder where she is and what has happened in her life.

All of this leads me to the future - and how much longer our Lord can wait before His return. Even so, Lord Jesus, come!!



Linda said...

I'm reading the same series now Dawn. I just finished the Zion Chronicles. I agree - wonderful but so hard to read about those terrible times. I keep thinking how much they reflect the times we're living in now. I feel like perhaps the time for Jesus to return is near. Oh how I hope so.

PEA said...

I loved reading this post...it really would be exciting to find Maryam and see what her life is like now. It makes you wonder if your talk of the Holy Scriptures encouraged her to look into that and if her life was changed in some small way. I haven't read the books you mention...they sound like they would be interesting to read! I will do the meme as soon as I have a chance:-)

Barb said...

I'm going to look at this series next trip to the book store. You make it sound like something I should read.

And I'm praying for Micah. I swear, there are so many sad things happening to such small children lately, it's heartbreaking.

Nancy said...

I am ready for HIS return and it may be near. Maybe Maryam is a blogger and will find you. God is good!

Kathleen Marie said...

I love Thoene's books -- all of them. I have that series, awesome and so much fabulous but heartbreaking history. They are fabulous books!
I also love how many of the different series all parallel so you re-meet many of the same people. Very clever idea on their part.

Maryam and Eli are now on my prayer list and their families...God can certainly reach through the generations.

Thank you for you sweet post on my blog. I enjoy making things for people only wish I could do more.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Dawn, My first chance to come here since our return from our trip to Colorado. I'm so sorry I wasnt able to contact you while we were there. In 10 nights we were in 4 different places, never staying in one spot very long. I did love knowing you were out there, nearby, during my Ft. Collins time.

This post is especially interesting to me - of all nights, finally after a good five years of trying to watch it, I saw "Not Without My Daughter", with Sally Field, the movie based on a true story of a woman who cannot get out of Iran with her daughter. Makes me want to read the book, which is always better. My daughter, Sarah has read almost all of Bodie Thoene's writings and loves them. They're not fast reads, but great history lessons.

kpjara said...

I love to read but the 'harder to read' selections usually take me much longer to get through. The very reason I DON'T watch the news.

I love your memories of Maryam and it would be cool to know where she is now and what she is doing! Perhaps your memory is the beginning of that journey and new interaction.

I've never heard of 'quizzing' BTW?

Maggie Ann said...

I read that series too...what a sad/good read. You sure were used by God to expose Maryam to the scriptures...in a special way. How amazing! Just like God!...am praying for Micah...bless his little heart. How sad...yet God is in control of everything that matters...great or small. Will join you in praying and trusting. btw, thanks for coming by to visit me and leaving a comment...how very nice! Time flies when online and when I get a comment I remember to come on over to see you....smile.

Kristen said...

What a neat story. I wish you knew what happened to them. I enjoy hearing stories that I've never heard from you on your blog. Amazing the things that come to mind to post about, huh?

Pamela said...

My prayers are with Micah and your sweet dear friend Maryam. We never know what effect we may have had on one's life. I am sure you were a blessing to her. Zion Chronicles is just so sad, and so torturous to read. I just got the book Redeeming Love in the mail today, so I am eager to start that, hopefully this weekend, as my schedule is so busy!

Yellow Mama said...

I like the verse which says his Word will not return void...but it will accomplish what it was sent to do. I pray for your childhood friend she run into someone today who will bring a harvest in her life....Smiles