Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a Picture

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

I immediately recognized the opening notes as the band began to play. Here I Am to Worship – Peter’s favorite worship song. How gracious God, I thought, to have this little piece of him this weekend.

It felt like a gift Sunday morning while we prepared for Communion, an island respite during a stormy weekend. Actually, the events were simple enough. The emotional tides had been the challenge. This was the weekend we removed Peter’s bedroom, moving the furniture upstairs to create a spare room and bringing Jeff’s office back down to the main floor. The annual wheelchair basketball tournament that Peter loved was also this weekend and I prayed for courage to face the emotions as I would reconnect with his sports family. And the icing on the cake? This was also the anniversary weekend of when Andrew had slipped into his final coma. 12 years had now passed since I last talked with my oldest son. Yes, the emotional tidal waves crashed around me, yet here was this kiss from God that he understood how I felt.

All of that swirled in my mind as the song continued. Then the band transitioned into another song, Peter’s song being one of a medley. The words spoke of all God does that we would know him, and responding with pleas to be drawn close within his arms. As the music built I focused my thoughts on God’s worthiness and gracious love. Thoughts of my boys whispered in the back of my mind as well. And suddenly, it all came together.

I had this picture in my mind of our family all together. In the physical, I sat beside my husband, his hand holding mine, the communion elements in my other. Together we worshiped, spiritually bowed in surrender. And yet, in my mind, I saw my boys, Andrew and Peter, bowed in worship as well, seemingly kneeling in front of us. Together, yet separate, we all worshiped together.

It’s like the plexiglass divider that separates visitors and inmates, I thought. Two separated worlds but with the ability to see within.

And as I continued to worship and sing, the four of us together, I realized how precious the gift that I held in my hand. For this unity of my family, though distant in the flesh, Jesus made possible through his death and resurrection from the cross, the symbols held in my hand. As we learned through the message that very morning, only Jesus has the power over the physical and the spiritual. Jesus alone is supreme over all.

As the medley switched back to end on Peter’s song, my heart cried out. Yes, Here I am to Worship! and No, I’ll never understand how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross! But I understand enough. Jesus you are all deserving of everything I have.

I marvel at the grace and mercy of God. He who is so powerful and so beyond my comprehension, who created the universe and holds it all together, would also care so intimately and tenderly for me -- to meet me in my pain and gift me with such a picture, such an understanding of truth to encourage and strengthen. That is the God I serve. That is the God my whole family worships. That is the God I find in Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Juli, that was simply beautiful. What a picture He gave you. And I will bet that the boiys saw you and Jeff as well and were smiling. Love you, Trish