Last but Not Least Aug/Sep 1974
JOEL AND THE MOVERS
In order to move my household belongings, I hired a truck. The driver brought along three men to assist him. One of them noticed a large carton full of Bibles (Old and New Testament bound together). He asked me, “What are you, some kind of a rabbi?”
While he was talking to me, the driver approached us – he examined the books and declared, “I refuse to move this ‘pigstuff’ in my truck. I am going to unload the whole truck.”
By this time 60% of my household goods, including a piano, were in the truck. I told the driver, “If you want to unload my belongings, you will have to do it on your own time and I will not pay you one penny. In addition, I will hold you responsible for anything that may get damaged.”
At this moment, a military messenger came to inform me to report for duty early next morning. The driver was amazed to hear that even “mesher madim apostates” (the common nickname for Hebrew-Christians in Israel), are called for military duty. The driver said, “You probably serve in the kitchen peeling potatoes.”
I answered, “No, as a matter of fact, I have one of the most dangerous jobs in the army – to detect mines and booby traps and to demolish them before they kill others.”
Then I showed him the many citations which I received for bravery under fire. I explained that I am a sergeant and instructor in the military demolition corps, and that all this did not come to me for peeling potatoes.
The driver’s whole demeanor changed rapidly and he became very friendly. He asked me how I came to believe in Jesus and I told him through the reading of this book which you called “pigstuff”. There are many Jews in Israel who believe in Jesus as our Messiah and Saviour, and some of them serve in the armed forces of Israel.”
The driver was now obviously ashamed and embarrassed and said he had been misled in his thinking. “May I have one of your Bibles?” Of course I gladly gave him one.
As we were talking, one of his helpers came up and said to the driver, “What happened to you? Only a moment ago you were going to get rid of this ‘pigstuff’ and now I see that you have taken one yourself and that you are friendly with this ‘meshumed’. Has he bewitched you also?”
The driver turned on him and ordered, “None of your business – get back to your work!”
They very carefully finished loading my household goods on the truck and transported them to our new home, which is much closer to downtown Jerusalem. When I was about to pay him for his work, he at first refused to accept the money. But I insisted that I should pay him the money which we agreed upon, and invited him and his helpers to have a cup of coffee when they completed their job.
Thus, what started out as a hostile encounter, ended on a very friendly note – to God be the glory.