Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Shine

Common chatter filled the room and I sat quietly, knowing that it would soon begin. Music painted the air as it made its way down the aisles and I sat looking...for HIM. I silently asked of Him to just let me see. At that very moment, a shine caught my eye. I stared at that guitar and moved my mouth to the words of the songs. Every time I wanted to turn away, the shine from one of the silver tuning knobs took hold again and I just watched, and I waited. I knew He was about to Shine...

He stood, he sang, and tears fell all around his grateful words as they lunged out among the pews. You could visibly see which words struck hard enough upon the ribs of those sitting in that room, to secure a place within the very breaths that exhaled from those caught by His shine. Each time someone stood to Testify I could hear the little blue-eyed lady speaking softly from behind me. Her voice has grown small over the years but the power behind it, the confidence that strengthens it, is heard louder with each and every Sunday...for each and every Sunday, we are closer to Home.

A group of four soon stood behind the piano and the grandchild of the blue-eyed lady sat at the upright instrument. His eyes were as blue as her's, and they all began what I knew would embrace the entire church. One began to Testify and I could no longer see her through my own vision, but I listened as they sang.

I closed my eyes and quietly asked Him to please let me look at The Shine again. I opened my eyes and filled my lungs with the purest of air and I knew exactly from where it was coming. I could see my head turn to the side and I peered at the day's lantern which resides at the end of a pew. The bottom of the window was tinted green from the grass just beyond and the top was as blue as the sea. I suddenly became quite full and it was so abrupt I thought for a moment I might hear myself shout. I glanced around the room some had hands raised when some were falling to The Altar. I watched a tear fall in slow motion from the cheek of the young mother seated in front of me. Others who worship, where standing in Praises and I looked back to the pane of glass.

Something moved toward the bottom of the frame and I couldn't even blink. I was captivated by a thin spider's web. I could only see a small portion of it but the breeze that tugged it gently couldn't pull it away from the building so I knew its strength was mighty. It would twinkle with God's very breath and I was mesmerized. The Shine had a grip on me and I had no intention of turning away. I'm not sure what was happening around me anymore. I could feel tears running from my eyes but I had no desire to wipe them. I finally turned and watched the tall man standing and I knew that at the very same minute, The Lord was speaking to him. I could see it on his face. It wasn't long before he spoke of it. Again, a warm stream ran freely down to my shirt and I was honored my collar was damp, because that meant He let me feel.

This Shine that had captivated me, was so strong. I thought about how the entire web had started with just one strand. When the one was thrown, others followed. I started smiling as I had just witnessed that very same thing underneath that steeple. It only took one, someone had to be the first and look how beautiful it became. Much like the spider, this is how we feed. We need this to survive. The orbs of a web get weak and when this happens, the spider will swallow what is left, and rebuild with that same purpose, that same intent. The wind will blow and the rain will fall, but if the one who builds has intention, has purpose, and keeps Him very near, it will Shine. I am very glad for what I felt today, glad for what I still feel, glad He took the time to answer my prayer today. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

That Jesus

I've had The Cross on my mind ever since our song director stood to Testify last Sunday. He asked us to think about what The Cross meant to us. I immediately thought of my cross necklaces. I only wear them when I'm going to be away from my family, out there in the big world working. I wear a cross because it reminds me...

I find myself many times at work reaching for the cross and running my fingertips over each edge and I know that whatever I face, I've been provided a place, a permanent Home, and it's because of That Cross. Even though I know there was pain and suffering experienced by the flesh that hung there in my place, it's also the greatest love story anyone could have ever written, and it was written for me. Ever so often, a random stranger will say to me, "I like that necklace." I know they like That Cross, they like That Jesus...

Church began as expected this morning. There was an unusual silence behind the songs. Everyone sang words, and they sounded beautiful but after each breath, after each note, silence pierced the room. Not necessarily an empty silence, but an attentive silence. Today, we were to listen, and I did just that.

I took my tiny tots down to our Sunday School room and we reviewed last week's lesson. "Tell me about the sheep. There were a hundred sheep and what happened to the one?" I asked my group ages one to four. The child of a preacher man spoke up excitedly, "It got lost. We had to find it." A smile lifted my eyes as the little shepherds looked around the room for the lost one. We went on to talk about today's lesson and their eager little minds discussed how God wants us to love everyone, even if they upset us sometimes. We talked about ways to help others and be a good friend, brother, sister, neighbor, child and treat others how we want to be treated. When the bell rang, I returned them to their parents and took my seat on the pew of peace.

Again, songs filled the church and I could hear voices I've never heard before, and they all sounded full, though the quiet was still present. Our preacher eventually stood and during his message he spoke of That Jesus. He said how much he loves That Jesus that picks him up and brushes him off and encourages him when he needs it but he also loves That Jesus that will correct him when he needs it. He said that The Lord will send what he needs when he needs it and I suddenly realized I could no longer hear silence. I was hanging on every word this preacher was saying and knowing just how right he was.

I thought again of the cross. I looked around at all the little children who all know what happened on that cross. I can tell them Jesus died on it, I can explain how to be a good shepherd and love thy neighbor and honor thy Mother and Father but one day, it'll be That Cross, it'll be That Jesus that gives them Home...and that's a beautiful thing to pass on, the greatest love story ever written, and it was written for them. I love That Jesus.