Sunday, March 10, 2013

Almost Ordinary

I raced to the kitchen window and tugged hard on the ragged string which lifted the blinds. I knew in my heart I was already too late, the sun rose without me this morning. Disappointment could be seen on my face as I walked away from the common, ordinary sky. I started the routine of Sunday morning and almost settled for ordinary...

It took over an hour before I slowed down enough to speak to HIM. With my eyes closed in prayer, I could feel warmth gracing the outer layer of skin atop my nose and forehead. Without a moment of hesitation I continued to pray as a smile lifted my cheeks. Soon the bright became too inviting and my eyes opened to see the most beautifully painted sky with hints of orange, goldenrod and many other colors HE chose to donate to the sky this morning. I shook my head and walked away wondering why HE keeps doing for me, when shamefully He often falls to the bottom of my priorities. I felt a sense of urgency in my heart, and my body started to quake with the ticking of the clock, knowing soon, I'd be on that pew...

As the miles rolled behind us, the tremble continued. My husband told the children there would be no Sunday School today, just Worship and I knew that to be true. Sunday School falls on our ten o'clock schedule but these days, The Lord lets us know that the more we have for HIM, the more HE has for us. I watched people leaving their houses as we traveled that familiar road. Cars were backing out of driveways and I pretended they were all coming with us, to our little country church. One glance at trade-day at the top of the mountain and I knew where most were headed, and that put a tear in my eye...

Eager people were already filling the church upon our arrival. Soon, the first song began and I started missing the little blue-eyed soldier who used to occupy the seat behind me. I rarely heard her voice, other than scripture that flowed from her tongue when we least expected it, but I could feel when she was there. I listened to her two daughters who sat in her place as their voices harmonized with the hymn. One sister became louder and the strength in her voice became very pronounced and just as the song ended, she asked us to sing a verse once more...

I listened intently to see if He would give hint to whom he would reach for next and the room began to move, despite the stillness of my flesh. Others began to confess they knew it would be that kind of service before they even walked in the door and I remembered how ordinary the day started. I could hear the tall man's voice in the next song and I knew that he would be reached for soon, but unlike I had predicted, the man on the first pew stood instead. I had listened to the beautiful voices of his sisters just moments before and it didn't take me long to realize why I had been missing his blue-eyed Mama. He walked down the center aisle. As The Spirit filled him, he outstretched his hands to the side and his fists were clinched tight and I thought of Jesus, hanging on the cross and knowing all along that the one on the front pew of our little church, would stand up when HE asked him to. The Lord was using that blue-eyed lady's children this day, and I began to cry knowing how proud she would be. A young mother sat quietly behind me with the blue-eyed lady's great-grandchild in her womb and I knew that she was probably missing the church as much as we were missing her right now...

My body kept shaking and I saw no end to the quiver of my bones as one sinner after the other stood. The man from the first pew sat down and from behind him, his own son stood. He was Praising the name Jesus and a fresh spring of tears rolled from his eyes. My own began to swell and my ears picked up what my eyes failed to see and my heart could feel when my ears failed me too. At times there were two people talking at once yet somehow I could hear them both. I took a deep breath not sure if my heart would hold out until the end of service and in an instant, the shaking stopped. I felt as if HIS hand was clinched inside my chest, forcing my heart to beat when I knew it wasn't strong enough. I couldn't believe I almost settled for the ordinary...

The air inside the church was mighty and thick but breath came with ease as HE fed us even more. The one at the piano began to play and I smiled knowing his first child would be born soon. He began to sing but words soon left him as tears filled his eyes. The minute his voice fell silent, I could hear his mother's growing stronger from behind me. She sang when he couldn't. I knew we should all be that way with each other...singing for those who can't, and the piano played on...

I watched a mother with the prettiest streaks of silver in her hair. I wanted to go hug her but I knew HE was speaking to her right then. Her head shook back and forth and within seconds her hand lifted up into the air. It wasn't long before her son, the tall man, stood. I really didn't think I could handle any more but The Lord gave him words. I listened with my heart and I thanked HIM for showing me so much in so little time. Our pastor stood and sang with a sturdy voice. I loved that HE had given him just the right amount of assurance, to stand to his feet and belt out alone.

He soon walked to the front and faced us all and asked a question reading from The Book of Amos, "Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou?" I smiled as I knew that I had almost seen the ordinary this morning. I had almost found disappointment in the day The Lord had made and HE was standing there all along presenting me with a basket of summer fruit. I'm awfully Blessed this day and it has been anything but ordinary! With a loss of words, I can only say...HE gave us a basketful this morning.

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