The day is winding down. I hear the low-frequency “thump/thump/thump” of a movie that Sarah is watching in the living room; Syd is working in the dining room, singing along with “Viva La Vida” and talking about the implications of Coldplay’s lyric and the Roman Empire. Shannon’s been working on some support letters for their upcoming mission trip. The boys are both asleep, after a long and busy day.
I’m feeling very settled, very much home. Can’t really describe it, other than thinking that something’s shifted in my environment somehow. Maybe it’s more internal than external, because things are still a cluttered mess here. Perhaps it’s the impending arrival of spring, the flowers blooming, the late evening light as the sun lingers in the sky. I don’t know. I’m just feeling good, in spite of not feel so good physically.
Today was an immensely powerful day at church. We did Cardboard Testimonies, which seems to always be powerful, no matter where or when. We’ve done it once before, and it fit in beautifully with Brian’s message today from John 8 when Jesus healed the blind man with a handful of mud. When interrogated by the religious leaders about who Jesus was and what, exactly, had happened, the once-blind guy says, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see.”
End of story.
The guy knew what he knew, and that was all he needed to know. He’d had an encounter with Jesus, and things changed.
It was a perfect lead-in for the testimonies. By the time they were over, tears were freely flowing.
I held up pretty well until one of our vocalists walked out with his wife and their 4-month old baby, who we’d prayed intently for while he was still in the womb, diagnosed with definite health issues. “Miracle baby.” He was a miracle baby – born healthy, still healthy. Healed.
Onto a beautiful girl who is an amazing inspiration, a great single mom – whose sign said “Meth addict” on the front – healed, sober, living for Christ. The bravery, the courage she demonstrated just slayed me.
And our little friend Eli, whose head injury led doctors to declare that he’d never walk again – Eli walked out with his mom and dad. Healed, healthy, praising God.
It was the body of Christ redeemed, swimming in grace, giving glory to Him. Amazing.
I felt so privileged to be in the same room with any of those people.
Here’s the run down of the day:
Ain’t No Rock – always a fun opener.
You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)
Mighty To Save
The First Steps kids – kindergarten and out – joined us on the stage to “lead” in Every Move I Make. They were, as kids always are, a home run. Exquisitely cute. And they actually did a great job with their hand motions and “singing”.
We showed a My2Cents video – homegrown – during the offering. Then came the message, which was passionate and evocative and perfectly timed – and we started with the signs. Underneath the movement we covered Thank You For Hearing Me, the Sinead O’Connor tune covered by David Crowder band covered by Greg Ferguson at Willow Creek. That’s where I first saw this cardboard thing, by the way – at the Leadership Summit a few years ago, with Ferguson covering Crowder covering O’Connor. I know a lot of folks are using How He Loves with the cardboard, but I really love the implications of the lyric in Thank You For Hearing Me. Ironically, some things really lined up with the personal stories…
It was a moving day, a reminder to me of why we do what we do, and why it matters. There were folks on the stage today whose stories are just beginning in terms of the grace and forgiveness that they are experiencing, the freedom that they walk in as Christ-followers. I am, again, absolutely stunned by the privilege of being part of this work, of the opportunity to witness such sacred movement.
It was a very good day.