Feed The Soul is a series of posts meant to encourage and lift your spirits, for our homes are more than brick and stone. Today, I share with you what happens when Jesus shows up unexpectedly.
It was Sunday morning. I woke from a deep sleep to learn that we had about a half hour to make it to church. We quickly gathered ourselves together and arrived at the church parking lot at 10:29… service starts at 10:30 am.
Every parking space was full. I began to feel guilty for not setting an alarm,or being one of those women who can roll out of bed, brush their teeth and throw on the nearest piece of clothing and look like a million bucks. No, this (me) takes a tad longer.
Thankfully, we found a parking spot and did our best impression of olympic fast walkers – the worship music was gently beckoning all to come. To me, it sounded like the buzzer of a great high pressured contest on tv and time was up.
We smiled and said our good mornings as we walked past neighbors and friends who happened to set their alarms and get to the early service. As we walked through the sanctuary doors – the room was full. Well, except for the middle seats, you know the seats no one is keen on, especially if you are late and everyone is watching to see who you are going to politely tap on the shoulder and scoot past to those wonderful middle seats.
We did our polite tapping and scooted in – to stand up and join in chorus. The allotted worship time came to a close, and the usual agenda took place: upcoming events, offering and then a “look-back” video on 2017. The congregation clapped to signal the end of the presentation and all eyes focused on the pastor. The sermon was on Baptism and remembering who you are. The pastor began sharing the word, connecting the present times to the days of Jesus, and his (the pastor’s) heart of why it is important to remember who you are and whose you are.
As he closed the sermon, He invited everyone to Communion.
Those who were serving took their designated place. At each station offered the communion sacraments and a small bowl of water. As the congregation came forward to receive communion, they could touch the water as a physical reminder of their Baptism.
As I stood in line and made my way forward, I touched the water and I remembered. I was 5 years old when I accepted Christ,and I was 12 when I was baptized by submersion. I made my way back to my seat with my little convenient wafer/grape juice combo (to help keep the flu at bay) and I prayed.
I prayed what most pray during this time of reflection. Then all of a sudden something happened.
Now, what I am about to tell you may sound strange and honestly if I didn’t know me – I would find it strange too ,but it is the absolute truth. I share this today because I feel that this may help someone else and that is what this series, Feed The Soul, is all about.
My eyes were closed and my head was bowed. All of a sudden I was taken to a forest. The light began to retreat and the darkness grew. I desperately began to look for a way out of the shadows.
Panic set in until I noticed a light and I made my way toward it.
I began to realize that this was not the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel but it was Jesus.
I was a little shocked but as I reached my hand out to him, he reached back. I gripped his hand I went from being a grown woman to a mere toddler. He scooped me up into his arms. As He held me he adjusted his grip and lifted me up closer to his shoulder. You know that sweet spot that you carry little ones in? The spot so perfect that a toddler just lays their head on your shoulder near your neck. There in that moment was I.
We began to move and I did not care. I was at peace, at rest, finally breathing easier. As quickly as the movement began, we stopped. I raised my head at his encouragement to see that we were in a meadow filled with the most drenching gorgeous sunlight. I could see the forest as I peeked over his shoulder.
He carefully put me down. I looked up to him and he reached out his hand to me again. I reached back, the very moment our reaches met, I became a grown up again. I just stood there holding his hand and then he began to walk, so I began to walk.
While this vision, dream, whatever you want to call it was happening,I was engulfed in tears and fighting to hold them back. I had moments of tears between trickling and full on steaming down my face. I did not care. The tears lessened as HE and I walked in the meadow.
At this moment I remembered whose I was when I finally opened my eyes.
I walked out of church a bit somber, not really sure how to accept this unexpected beautiful visual gift. I know that’s His way but I felt unworthy of it. Guess what, didn’t matter how I felt, it is what I needed.
I have found myself lost in situations, some feeling very dark and hopeless. I have desperately tried to find the positive and pray for an answer. I am a fixer – I want to figure out how to fix it or make it work out in the very best way. I can’t fix everything folks,and neither can you.
What do I see from this encounter? I need to stop trying to find the way out. I know the way out… I just need to trust in Jesus and let him guide me and when I can no longer handle anymore. I need to allow myself to be little again and let him move on my behalf. That beautiful sweetness that comes from complete surrender to HIM.
Maybe you need to read this today. Maybe it’s been a while since you have felt connected. Maybe you need to know that there is hope and Jesus will show up unexpectedly just for you. Even if you are just going through the motions. Even if you are in the middle of church. 😉