Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Voice

She walked up in front of the church, with a paper in her hand. On it, were the words to a song she sang a cappella. I'm not sure how she made it through that entire song as most of the congregation approached the altar and bowed in prayer. Tears spilled onto the carpet as her lone voice rang throughout the church.

I started there on a visit. (read here) I had every intention of visiting a long list of churches I'd been invited to recently. I assumed that we'd visit that little country church once a month when it fell on rotation with all the other churches. But it was actually voices like this, that made me stay.

As I sat through service this morning, there was an unusual calmness in the preacher's voice. I was worried he was lacking confidence in his message. His usual confident, loud, enthusiastic "spittin' and hollerin'" as he calls it, wasn't present today. As I listened however, the best thing happened. He was discussing forgive and forget. He talked about each of us having enemies in some form or fashion. I thought of mine...

Some of my biggest blessings were given by my enemies. I actually arrived at that church because of an enemy. In fact I was practically driven there extremely fast and dumped on the steps by one. As a Christian, I found it not too difficult to forgive this enemy. As a sinner, I held on tightly to the fact I didn't have to forget the hurt and damage the enemy has caused. As the preacher looked me in the eye at times, a large weight of anger was lifted from my shoulders. I had been allowing the harm to continue each day, sometimes holding on to the anger with bloody fingernails my grasp was so tight. And for the first TRUE time this morning, I forgave, and I forgot. I walked up to the altar and prayed for the enemy with only good intent...and it felt good, real good. I couldn't wait to come back to tonight's service.

I arrived to the little chapel almost giddy. I walked in my usual three minutes late and WOW, what a feeling. The room seemed packed and The Spirit was definitely in the room. Hands were clapping and I heard the voices. Feet were stomping and heads were swaying and every sound soaked into me for I wasn't blessed with the ability to return the gift of song. You won't see me with a mic in my hand, ever. I again went back to the altar tonight and all I could think of was how blessed I was to be in that room. Just the fact that God loved me enough, to let me enjoy that, let me be a part of that, witness a church full of Spirit-filled folk.

On the way home, my eyes were stinging from salty water that has poured from them today. I am exhausted, I am full, I am thankful.

1 comment:

  1. How awesome - what an amazing lesson! You are so right - enemies do so much for us that we don't realize. Thanks for the forgive and forget reminder!!