“I am the little sister of Jesus,” the young Caucasian man said. Dressed in time-faded jeans, a tee shirt and Hush Puppies, he slouched on a couch in a cottage on the grounds of the Miramar Hotel. Overly thin with blondish-brown hair and wearing Superman glasses, he epitomized the look of a writing nerd. It was the third day of workshops at the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference. Thirty-plus aspiring writers and the famous author/writing instructor were stuffed into the livingroom of the cottage listening to other writers read their work.
With halting uncertainty the author read his story about an eight-year-old girl who endured ongoing sexual abuse by her uncle. She survived the violations by focusing on the picture of Jesus on the wall over the bed. When the workshop ended for the day I waited in line behind his other admirers. When it was my turn, I told him how his story profoundly impacted me. Looking a bit nervous he said he was afraid that since he was a guy writing about a little girl, it might offend the reader. The opposite was true. He and his insights are still with me thirty years later. His words that day wandered about in my thoughts for a long time. After years of germination an idea presented itself–I had been Jesus’ little sister Ruth in another incarnation. The revelation startled me. Could it be true?
Raised Christian, I was baptized and gave my heart to Jesus at the age of seven. At the time I considered it a wonderful thing to do. I could not understand why everybody didn’t believe in such a beautiful soul. It was my task to help save everybody, my Sunday school teachers and the minister told me. I must spread the good news. A very conscientious child I drew their instructions into my very spirit. I didn’t want anyone to be damned to hell because I failed to tell them about Jesus our divine big brother. In Sunday school every week I received my Bible lessons and memorized the assigned scriptures. I did not believe in reincarnation. We were taught it was a myth. To corroborate this, Hebrews 9:27 was sited: It is given unto man once to die and then cometh the judgment.
During the eighteen years I attended Sunday school, I don’t remember ever hearing anything about Jesus having biological sisters. Mary was a virgin after all and supposedly remained that way. Even so, after the writer’s conference the idea that I had been Jesus’ little sister wandered in and out of my mind. I looked up Jesus’ sisters in my concordance and discovered that the Bible mentioned two, though not by name. I then remembered it had been explained to me that these would have been Joseph’s children from a former marriage. Well now, anyone who knows men knows that in a marriage they rarely want to be chaste, even old men. The likelihood that Mary and Joseph did not engage in sex is not reasonable. However, when I was a kid I didn’t know how strong the sex drive was for men. As a little girl I was taught sex was something to be endured if you wanted a husband. Endured! A man was allowed to enjoy it, but not a woman. For crying out loud.
In my mid-forties I mentioned to my New Age spiritual friend/teacher that it came to me I had been Jesus’ little sister Ruth. She gave me a channeled book about Jesus’ life and family. It talked about his sister Ruth. Good grief. Inspired to write a book about my life as his sister, my first thought was that my current extended family, most of them born-again Christians, would disown me. More importantly, I didn’t want to hurt my mother. She had already been through too much heartache. I didn’t want her to feel she had failed with me too. Regardless, the idea teased at me. When I finished the book I was working on at the time, I realized the next one needed to be about my life as Ruth.
Once I was ready to begin the book I waited, hoping the story would unfold. It was my desire to channel it, or that my memory of Jesus’ lifetime would return. It didn’t happen. I had to write it like my other books, where moments of insight intermingled with hours of slogging out the story and perfecting it by rewriting almost ad infinitum.
I set the story in two time periods, the first one present day. Raven, the female protagonist is based on me of sorts. There are similarities and differences. Raven’s story is written in first person, Ruth’s in third. Whether or not any of it is true, there is no way for me to know. That’s why I present it as fiction.
Here’s a brief window into my story. You can decide for yourself if it’s true.
Despite my upbringing, as an adult I did not believe in him nor was I ever likely too. But something happened that night in the community center that set it all into motion–the learning who I had once been and why I loved Tad this time around. As my current and past lives unfolded, lives entangled in love, murder, passion and peace, I learned the truth about Jesus.
A professional artist and skeptic, as I began painting murals of Jesus’ life I did not know I had been part of it, that female as well as male members of his team existed nor that I had been one of them. Spanning two time periods my quest led to my first husband, who according to available history, never married, my second husband, considered the rock, and the accepted yet misleading doctrine my brother Jesus/Yeshua was supposed to have taught.
Not only was I an integral part of that long ago life, so was my brother Demmy, which was why he committed such atrocious crimes this time around. When it was discovered Jesus’ “second coming” wasn’t what people expected, not everyone was pleased, especially not my brother Avery, a fundamentalist Christian minister. As I discover who these people are today, the story turns romantic, even violent.
My story is not a religious one. Religions are often forged by those seeking to control others. Mine is the revelation of our lives then and now and how the present is unavoidably woven from the past.
Have you ever wondered who you might have been in some other lifetime? Were you anyone famous? Think about it. It is possible. When you think of the things you are working through this lifetime, do some of them make little sense unless you consider them through the lenses of time, past lives and the need for personal growth? At the least it is fodder for writing. At the most it could bring you to an understanding of who and what you are, insights which might otherwise never be realized. Freedom lies in the ability to explore possibilities. I’m exploring mine. I suggest you think of joining me by considering your own “true” story, if the idea tugs at you, like this one did me.
While not everyone is a writer, life abounds with possibilities. If you consider them they can trigger a natural high. If you push yourself to fulfill them, they can become your life’s purpose. For me nothing brings more enrichment than making it so.
V. M. Franck grew up in a highly religious working class environment. After working at a series of unsatisfying jobs, in her late twenties she earned a B. S. from Oregon State University. Thereafter, she worked with abused and disadvantaged children. A family tragedy changed her perceptions permanently. She wrote and published a book about its impact on herself and her family. She met Philip, who had always wanted to be a writer. They married and moved to the mountains to write full-time. She is currently writing her eleventh book. All but one of them are works of Visionary Fiction. She is also an exhibiting artist with her own online gallery.
Visit her website: whereartmeetstheheart.com
Her works of Visionary Fiction include:
On Wings of the Echohawk
Tater’s Maters of Hootenanny Flats, Part 1 The Mater’s Series
Resurrection Rose, Part 2 The Mater’s Series
Final Entry, Part 3 The Mater’s Series
Jesus’ Little Sister Ruth
In Ways We Can’t Imagine, Part 1 The St. Germaine Chronicles
The Pacifist’s War, Part 2 The St. Germaine Chronicles
Once Without Dying