Why do I write and speak about China and Taiwan, and about Jesus' women disciples? About Yesterday's Stories for Today's Inspiration?
Hey – I'm glad you're wondering. . .
All my life I've been fascinated by the roles of women around the world, including those who followed Jesus. One of my vivid memories from my childhood in China is asking, “Daddy, didn’t Jesus have any girl disciples?”
Dad answered, “Why of course he did,” and then he showed me the Gospel passages about “girls.” Several years later in Taiwan, I saw a picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Again I asked, “Weren’t any girls there with Jesus?”
Dad answered, “Sure they were there. They just weren’t in this painting.” He didn’t try to explain about the mural being on the wall of a monastery dining hall in Milan, or centuries of church theology and tradition.
But Dad did show me in the Gospel accounts how the women were there with Jesus and his Twelve Disciples right before the Last Supper and right after it. So even though they were not named, weren’t the women there with Jesus at the Last Supper together with the men? Decades of research convince me they were!
As I grew older and studied the Bible more, I discovered women often weren’t named. But that didn’t mean they weren’t there – one good example is the genealogies. So imagine my excitement when my husband Dave and I traveled to the Vatican and the Louvre several years ago. There we viewed ancient paintings of the Last Supper portraying women and children along with the men. Wow!
As I wrote the stories of the women of the Last Supper, I found myself also journaling the stories of my family's China past. Before long, the photos and letters, journals and artifacts of my grandparents and parents along with my own memories transformed into characters and scenes in historical novels.