written at the end of 2016 in collaboration with Una Bella, this biographical portrait tells the story of the surprise encounters that she had with the Son of David, Messiah Ben-Yosef the suffering king, at a time when she felt no desire for a saviour to enter her world. even so, grace still intruded into her life quite uninvited and with little regard for her feelings. she was scheduled for a divine appointment with Heaven’s High King and He was going to keep the date whether she wanted to meet with Him or not.
this is an excerpt. you can download the full story on my Patreon page.
In March of 1999, Leonardo and I and our two-year old son, Little Luigi, moved to Hawaii from Israel. We were extremely secular, a Jewish pair of seekers who enjoyed what the New Age movement had to say about spirituality. Its teachings gave us a real sense of contentment. We sincerely believed that we had found the meaning of life. Above all, we shared a wonderful unity in our marriage. Love was in the air. Little did we know, though, that back in Israel my cousin Roni, his wife Ani and their three young children – pioneering Israeli followers of Yeshua – had decided to adopt us in prayer. As a family they had set time aside every Shabbat to pray for us, asking God to open our eyes to the extreme beauty of Yeshua. It was a simple act of love but its impact would rock our lives in ways we could never have imagined.
One day in November, Leonardo went to help one of his mom’s friends reorganise his storage room. At the end of the exercise, left with one final item to move they discovered that the last box was rather empty. There was nothing inside of it except for an old Bible which had belonged to the man’s deceased mom. Out of the blue, Leonardo asked if he could have the book. For some reason he was determined to read it and fully understand what it had to say. The man said yes and, that evening when Leonardo came home, he walked in with it.
When I saw him carrying that book in his hands, I totally freaked out. I seriously thought our marriage was over. I went into the other room, looked up toward the ceiling and said, ‘God – not that I think you exist at all, but if you do – why are you destroying my life?!’ Of all the books in the world, what was my husband doing with that one? At the same time, I made a decision: I would not say anything against it. Soon enough he would get over this madness. Surely this too would pass.
It did not pass. Leonardo became obsessed with the New Testament. He read it day in and day out, often for four hours at a time. But I also noticed that there were changes taking place in him. He was becoming more serene and at peace with himself, and I liked these new qualities. Perhaps this was not such a bad turn of events after all. Then he began to say the strangest things to me, like: ‘I think I am born again’; ‘Jesus is my Messiah’; ‘I want to be baptised’. This sent me over the edge. Again I was freaked out—freaked out yet also somewhat provoked. I began to wonder what was written in that book that kept him so engrossed for so long. Then, one night in January, 2000, a question I never thought I would dare to think rose up in my heart. I was walking to my bedroom when I found myself asking, ‘I wonder who Jesus is?’ Without thinking much more about it, I got into bed and went to sleep.
The next day was like any other. I woke up. I made my way to the bathroom. I stood at the sink and washed my face. I looked up into the mirror to greet myself but was stunned to be greeted by Jesus. Staring straight into my eyes from the other side, there He was. Right where my reflection should have been. Alive. With a crown of thorns on His head and blood upon His face. I looked at Him. He looked at me. He flooded me with a love that I never knew existed. A reservoir of joy bubbled up inside of me. It was so profound. Specially because my joy had long been dead. It had been killed during my teens. Horrific episodes of sexual abuse at that time had destroyed my childhood innocence and joy. But that one moment in the gaze of unconditional love turned it all around. I was never to be the same again. On top of that, I had instantly fallen in love with this person who was looking at me with such tenderness and so much care.
Eventually, I had to leave the bathroom. As I walked out I turned around for one last glance, just to make sure it had all been real. Yes, Jesus was still there in the mirror watching me go. The look on His face seemed to say, ‘Don’t worry, I will be with you forever.’ Comforted by this, I went on to the living room. The whole time my spirit was shouting with excitement, ‘Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!’ I was over the top. I couldn’t wait to get to know my new love. So I asked Leonardo if there were any books or movies that had been made about Him. ‘Of course,’ he replied, ‘the New Testament.’ That was not the answer I wanted to hear. In fact, as an Israeli, it caused a serious problem for me. I was not suddenly going to read the forbidden book which I had been warned against my whole life. There was no way I would betray my people. But I was totally captivated by Jesus. Somehow I had to know more about Him. He was, after all, the One whom my eyes had seen and who had captured my heart.
Kambani Ramano is a multi-disciplinary artist – writer, photographer, musician – who has been captured by the story of redemption and grace. having seen how Elohim repeatedly takes the ruins of his life and makes them radiant, Kambani cannot help but be in awe of Heaven’s High King. other passions of his include olives, the Scriptures and ’Erets Yisrael. to support Kambani’s creativity, you can become a patron of his art at patreon.com/kambaniramano.