Friday, June 28, 2013

When the Sheep Cry

I turned off the ignition and couldn't wait to get inside the little country church. My mouth dried with incredible thirst but I walked past the water fountains and took a seat on the opposite side of the church for a change. I knew HE would supply me with exactly what I needed and soon it became apparent that we all came to revival thirsty. I expected it to pour inside, soaking everyone on every pew, and I left there with exactly what I had expected, and more...

My fingers began to glisten with tears as I made half-hearted attempts to wipe them away but soon, my hands couldn't keep up with the mighty flow. The man in front of me kept lifting his right hand in praise and he was completely unaware that his heart was glowing from behind. I couldn't take my eyes off of the white circle of light placed on his back directly over his heart. It was reflecting a rainbow along the outer edges of the light and the prism bled outward impressing color across him, and he had no idea.

Flashes of the cross kept claiming my vision each time I shut my eyes in prayer. Every time I would open them, more bodies knelt near The Altar and I could see the children of God crying from every direction. Each time one would stand with resolve in their souls, I smiled. Some stayed longer than others, some wept helplessly before their legs gained the strength to stand tall again. All I kept thinking was that The Shepard would come, when the sheep begin to cry. The Spirit was moving within our little country church brushing over one, then the other...

I could see him out of the corner of my eye. His face was drawn taut and I knew The Lord was giving him what he needed. Every few minutes I could see him, still seated but soon he lifted to his feet, and The Tall Man spoke. I was touched by his words as my eyes scanned the room around me. Amens and Bless Hims came ringing from all around.

Another man spoke at some point and said his wife had to bring him clothes because he had car trouble but he aimed to get to that pew, even if he had to come dirty. Our preacher soon stood and shouted we all might be a little dirty, but a cleansing awaits right down near that Altar. Another flock of sheep soon fell low but still, The Sheppard knew the cry of HIS sheep. Hearts were changed, people were Touched, and I was no longer thirsty. I can't wait to go back tonight and see what The Sheppard has for his flock, as we go in to worship, and walk out revived.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Fly

I had so many people on my mind as I walked outside to sit in the morning's rising sun. I wasn't sure HE had anything for me as my footsteps were heavy and deliberate. Normally I feel a pull, an urge to go out and receive but this morning, having few burdens of my own, I had the weight of others on my heart. I stepped onto the old porch and took seat. You could see my wet footprints across the wooden planks and they were all pointing towards me.

I heard the buzz of a fly that seemed to remain in endless flight and I watched him, wondering if he would ever get tired. About that time, he landed on the railing and I watched as he hurriedly walked across, only to soon take flight again.

I thought of yesterday's service as the preacher stood at the front of the church. One of the long-time members, a respected elder of the church, the man from the front pew that reaches down with his right hand to feel the cross engraved underneath him with the palm of his hand...went up to the front. He spoke of Moses. He told of the story in Exodus 17 when Moses stood at the top of the hill with the elders, with his hands uplifted. Our pastor raised his hands and he did his best to keep them in the air but the unrehearsed story of our own church elder showed us how soon, we will tire. He said that Aaron and Hur walked up to Moses and each took an arm, and helped keep them raised. I watched my preacher stand with one hand in the air held up by the church elder and one hand down at his side with no one to help hold it up when he had grown tired. The elder asked who among us would be willing to hold up his other hand and one by one faces fell at the altar. I was frozen at the sight and my heart grew at the sight of so many praying right at that very moment. The tissue I had couldn't hold my tears so I let them run free. Walking up from the left side of this little country church, I saw her...

The wife of the elder walked up to the front with confidence in her backbone. She stepped past the sinners who prayed and she walked past her husband who held the preacher's hand high and she reached down with her gentle hand, placed it around the wrist of the pastor, and lifted his other arm into the air. She was the one. I can't tell you how many mountains she has stood upon in the past having battled cancer several times, along with other trials of life...but this day, she was the one with the strength. Tears rolled from the pastor's eyes and I could see the water Moses promised the people who were thirsty. It was the most beautiful sight, knowing that we have people in our little church that can grow tired, yet The Lord has supplied us with strength through others to keep going. I didn't know what HE had for me this morning. I'm thankful for the fly, who grew tired and rested his wings just at the right moment today, for me to be able to lift my arms in Praise this beautiful Monday morning!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Stir

I knew HE had something for me, all I needed to do was reach out and claim it. I saw one child off to VBS and I, along with my coffee, took a seat on the old cabin's porch. A chill rose beneath my skin and I looked out across the land. The morning sun lit my face and the heat was only tolerable. It only took moments for my flesh to become uncomfortable I was looking for shade or even a shadow to run behind.

As my head turned in every direction, looking for the cool, the comfortable, the wind began to blow. A gentle breeze twisted blades of grass and I could see every green, every yellow hue that clung to the ground from which it was rooted. The pear tree that is so covered with fruit, we've actually had to prop up every limb to keep them from dragging, blushed with the faintest red as the light current approached its leaves. I was very aware that the trees just beyond didn't move, only the ones around me. The warm still pierced my skin and I wanted to be inside the stir, I wanted to feel it but sitting within that still, I felt nothing on the outside of the flesh and I felt like an outsider within just watching, and wanting. HE was getting louder and louder. I could hear it, I could see it, and in Spirit I began to feel it, but my flesh still wanted to feel so I moved out into it.

I smiled up at the blue sky and wondered if that's how people felt who sit through worship services and never truly worship. I wondered if they could see it, and hear it, and want it, but just never be willing to move  out of their own way for it. I felt cold wet grass against my ankles. The air was clean and filled my lungs all the way up. I could almost hear the leaves twinkle as if HE had purposely played them like a wind chime, just for me. I am Blessed this morning, thanking HIM for a stir.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Steady

The voice of my oldest child said, "Look Mama! Look who's here!" I looked behind me and I could see her, the blue-eyed lady. She is either the mother, the grandmother or the great-grandmother of about half the people in our little country church. I wasn't sure I'd ever get to attend a worship service with her again, but HE knew I would. I love those unexpected Blessings.

I could hear her confident voice a couple of times during the service speak out small concurrences when others stood to Testify and I forgot how much I had missed that. We sang a few songs before the Tall Man walked to the front. He led How Great Thou Art and I guess that's when it all started...

I found myself no longer sitting on a pew of a common Alabama church. I was singing to HIM and it didn't matter the quality of my voice, it mattered only the quality of my heart. I could see, though blurred by this point, the light shining through the etched panes and I was moved by the amount of love we all felt for our Savior. I could almost see hearts swelling from the chests of others and I was so glad they loved HIM as much as I did.

The blue-eyed lady's daughter walked to the front and stood by her husband as they prepare to do as requested, and sing. Her husband apologized for any imperfections they may stumble upon during their song, and he prepared us in case he couldn't stand for the entire duration. Life has added trembles to his limbs but once he began to speak, he could do nothing but praise HIM. He stood for the entire song and my eyes were no longer viewing people as they seemed with initial glances. I saw the steady amongst the tremors. I saw the health amongst the sick. I saw the strong amongst the weak, and I saw the right within the wrong. I could have stood in front of the mirror and seen all this just the same. I told a friend this week, "The Lord sure does like me for some reason," after receiving just what I need, day after day.

A friend spoke. When she didn't get it all out, she spoke again. I watched her juggle babies and Testify but she held a desire to speak her heart and then her confidence in HIM, bloomed into Truth we all needed to listen to.

I was thankful for all that HE let me feel today. The same man stood once again at the end of the service after he wasn't sure he could make it through one song without propping up or even sitting back down. He all but preached from his pew as he was given more from The Lord. I watched the steady hand that had little control previously hold onto his Bible. Just as steady, the other hand moved about freely as he gave us what we needed to hear. I knew that The Lord had placed the steady upon this man just as HE had given him a message to express. We are Blessed people. I don't sit on the pew of a common Alabama church nor am I the common sitting on a pew of an Alabama church...not to HIM. I don't know why HE loves me so much, but I'm so very thankful that HE does!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In the Clearing

I could hear the words, "I claim the blood Jesus shed on Calvary..." before my eyes even opened. I knew by the darkness it was still early, but I couldn't wait to see what HE had for me. I quickly thanked HIM for another day and my feet soon felt the cool wooden floor beneath them. I went straight to the window where I look for the sun every single morning and I could see a dim light behind a thick layer of fog. I felt a sense of urgency to get out to the old cabin to watch the sun rise so I kept singing the song over and over and within minutes, I heard the screen door slam shut behind me.

Wet blades of grass graced my ankles as cool damp air filled my lungs. I could smell the wooden planks which covered the shell of the old cabin and I sat just watching the sun. The remaining drops from last night's rain fell slow and heavy from the edges of the tin roof. I heard her voice singing...the lady from church who sat behind the piano last night. Her unique voice was a gift to our little country church and I was Blessed with hearing it one more time.

Physically I still sat on the cabin's porch but Spiritually, HE has brought me back to the Wednesday night church service where someone near me requested a song. I watched my Sunday School teacher walk up with a microphone clinched in his hand. The lady behind the piano began to play and her voice moved around me. I could feel my heart beat deep and loud within, as the Sunday School teacher just stood there. The piano player kept singing the words, "Thank you....." Emotion poured from the man who could not sing and he could have sat down at any time, but he didn't. He just stood. He didn't have to say a word, his tears spoke loudly. We all found ourselves watching behind blurred visions as salty water filled our eyes. I kept wondering if he would give up and walk back to his seat, but he stood there...receiving every single word, and that was powerful.

I was Blessed to be able to sit on the old wooden porch and hear the sermon in its entirety once again. I thought about being sin-sick and how contagious that can be, just like our preacher spoke of last night. I knew that to be true. I heard trembling voices from parents thanking The Lord for His Blessings and I looked up at the young man in front of me. I couldn't see his face at that moment but I knew it displayed wounds, healing from the car accident that could have easily been a lot worse. My stomach quaked as the parents spoke and I felt their heartfelt words. They didn't have to say much and I found myself with blurring vision again at how powerful their thank you was.

I could hear the thump of the rain droplets as they hit the ground as if they weighed a hundred pounds and I lifted my head back up to the sun. I now sat in the clearing. I looked around and fog was still surrounding me but the sun peaked out from behind a tree. Fog still caressed the fields and the trees, but where I sat, it was perfectly clear. The prettiest rays lit various areas of the landscape in front of me and I smiled as I received my morning Blessings.

The cool damp air had warmed a bit and was welcomed upon my skin. As it soaked into me, I thanked HIM for everything HE'S given me to see, to touch, to hear and most of all feel. I sat in the clearing this morning, and it felt good. All I could offer was a meek thank you, but I knew the power in those two words.