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Meeting Jesus Through Scripture

There is a German woman named Margaret Mehren. She grew up in the Nazi years, and as a teenager, she belonged to the Hitler Youth Movement. No one in her family was a Christian, and, as far as she could tell, none of them believed in God. She was still a teenager when World War II ended, and she finally realized that Hitler had not been the kind of hero they’d been told he was. She was completely disillusioned. The only values she had been taught had come to nothing.

About that time, her brother, who worked for a publishing company, brought home a stack of books he’d been given, and one was a Bible. He didn’t believe in God either, and so he gave it to Margaret. She made a few half–hearted attempts to read it, but it didn’t connect for her.

Then one evening, she happened to open the Bible again, and her eye fell on a passage that began, “And Jesus said to them ....” Margaret said that at that moment, she somehow knew that Jesus was alive. She writes, “I [suddenly] knew this was not just a 2,000–year–old book. I knew that whatever Jesus said, he said it to me, even in that small room where the walls were crumbling from bomb attacks.” In short, Margaret had an epiphany.

To make a long story short, Margaret’s reading about who Jesus was and is, and what he said, eventually led her to a church and finally, she became a Franciscan nun, working in South Africa, where she taught girls about the Bible. Growing up, Margaret’s view of things had been limited by what she’d been taught, but for her, the Bible became a way of meeting Jesus. (Margaret Mehren, “A Nun in South Africa,” International Christian Digest, June 1987.)

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