"Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" Aunt Phoebe's
question—for her it was a question about my salvation—made me cringe as a
girl. When my siblings and I heard Great Aunt Phoebe's '55 Chevy Bel
Air purr up the driveway, we hightailed it for the creek out behind the
back forty. When I asked my mother years later why she let us get away
with that, she chuckled and said on the whole she thought it was the
healthier alternative. I vowed never to ask anyone Aunt Phoebe's
question. It is a vow I have kept.
Lately, however, I have been revisiting the notion of having a personal relationship with Jesus.
all began one warm spring afternoon as I was working with a group of
women pastors in a Bible study that we had been calling "Luke's quest
stories," a phrase used by Robert Tannehill.