Monday, June 23, 2014

That Suitcase

The preacher stood and offered any last chances for the congregation to do as they feel led before he began. When no one spoke, he reached under a bench and pulled out an old suitcase. He rarely ever brings in props to tell a story so I knew he must have been shown something special. He began with news of young ones leaving the nest, going to college, and opportunities that have been presented within his own household that led to a phone call.

His sister couldn't have known or rehearsed the words that would spark such a Sunday Service as this, but with our preacher seeking her wisdom, the advice of a sister did just that, igniting a fire we so desperately needed. He assured her the family had been prayerful about the possibilities, the opportunities that arose for his only son, and she simply said, "You and your wife have been packing his suitcase all his life."

As the preacher tearfully introduced the story, we all began to wipe away the rivers that submerged our vision. He must have sat and prayed and pondered about what all he and his wife have been packing all of these years. He unzipped the metal that enclosed the meat of the message and we watched with bated breath. I took in air and filled my lungs just hoping that I might see anything in that suitcase that has been packed for our children.

He reached inside and pulled out a figurine of Jesus. I exhaled with relief knowing that we have successfully introduced our own to this man, this King of all Kings, this Savior of our's. He then pulled out what he referred to as a road map, much needed for all travels of life. Reaching in again I wondered what he might pull out next and in his hand he held a Bible. It was small and pink with a Breast Cancer pink ribbon printed across the front. Something he had found some time ago and decided to keep. Little did he know The Lord had big plans for it. I thought of all the ladies who have traveled that very road and they all sit now, looking up at this with health in their eyes and Christ in their hearts. He reached in again and pulled out a large model of a church house. It was painted beautifully and he held it high and spoke of how this item was necessary to pack for your children. With another sigh of relief I watched as his stature changed at the thought of the next item.

His voice began to tremble even more as he reached into that suitcase again. He said that when The Lord revealed to him what the next item was going to be, he knew he didn't have any. He picked up the phone and called his Mama. "I need a pair of praying hands," he said to her. She quickly responded with "You got it, what's wrong?" He began to chuckle in Spirit and his body began to tire and draw to a slump and he wept. She thought he needed her to pray for something but in his hands he held a mold of a set of hands pressed together in prayer. He knew she had some and she lent them without a second thought and she too, couldn't have imagined what he needed them for. He walked back over to the luggage and I wondered what would come next.

His hand wrapped around something and when he pulled it back out, he held a cross. He talked about bringing your cross wherever you go, bearing large ones at times and small ones on occasion. I was unsure if my heart was really beating anymore as I sat there trying to keep my eyes clear enough to see. As he prepared to pull out the final item, he stalled for a bit. He said the last item was up to us whether we have it or not. I wondered what he could possibly have to left in that bag and I tried to guess what it could be....a Light? Was it our light...but I realized it would be the light of others we might actually need for ourselves since we don't often use our own to see. We often see better when others are shining so I awaited anxiously for him to pull out the next item because I couldn't even guess what it might be. Confusion briefly paused me into research of why we might need water as he held the clear plastic bottle in his hand, other than to quench our thirst. He explained The Biblical description of the Spirit and the Water. He held back his urge to open the water and pour it upon the crowd but The Spirit would be the final item. We needed the Spirit in that suitcase.

He eventually closed on the powerful message and we all tried to walk out of the little country church, knowing we couldn't wait to come back. I think everyone in that room, went home and took a gander at what they were packing in that suitcase. Revival began this day though it don't officially start until the next day's setting sun.

Most of us returned to find a full, packed church at the evening service as a preacher from another church came to share more of His Word. Many of his members joined him and just like that, with the first breath of the first hymnal, chills ran across my arms as the strong voices banded together and laid before The Lord a bounty like no other. One man stood and sang a song and you could see the might in his eyes and The Spirit lifted his chest as he belted with assurance and certainty the words of the song. I was thinking of how simple a song can be but when you put The Spirit it in it, it becomes food for even the dogs under the table to dine...and I was Blessed this day, just because these people, these visitors, had packed The Spirit into that suitcase when they came over. The Lord fed me this day though I deserved nothing more than crumbs. He took all that we had and just like two fishes and fives loaves, he fed the multitude. Consider the ravens...consider the lilies. I am a Blessed person this morning!

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