I’ve thought for years about the contributions one person makes in the world.
In a world crazy with fear and hate, how does one woman change anything? I wonder sometimes how I even impact those around me, let alone the world. And even in my own life, what do I do to make significant changes?
Last night was the last evening of our Christmas concerts at church. And every year I get a bit more of the answers I long for.
I sing in the choir. And so do 40 others.
40 singers. 40 individual voices. 40 people contributing individual talent. And possibly 40 people thinking their contribution is small…nothing.
But this amazing sound is created.
Music. Soaring, beautiful, heartbreaking music.
The goal is to be so united and joined that you cannot distinguish one voice from another. To create one sound.
I can hardly wait, because when it happens, it’s so profound that my heart is surging and my soul is worshipping. Indescribable joy.
And I get it. That’s it. That’s how the world is changed and I am changed. My voice joined with 39 others.
One voice heard by one heart, one soul…
At a time.
I met this young woman, a college student then. A wife and mother now.
Back then, my littles were little, and occasionally needed a babysitter. And so this lovely person drifted into our lives, faithfully watching them if we were out.
And they loved her. She had huge hair, wild and free. And sparkling eyes.
So it isn’t surprising to me that she is loved so remarkably today…in Conway, Arkansas , no less, and in hearts no matter where.
She’s Pink, but not because she wants to be. Breast cancer never issues an invitation with an RSVP. It comes uninvited, swift and scary. It offers fear and worry…yours to take.
I still know her, although not in person.
I know her because faith friends are always faith friends. And I know her because her blog is her story. And because her story is joy. Beautiful joy.
Imagine joy in breast cancer. Breast cancer defeated, then returns. Still joy. Deep joy, unwavering joy.
Maybe you want to know her too.
I didn’t come up with this, so I must have heard it somewhere and adopted it…
Regardless, it has become my personal thing…mantra…saying…thought said out loud.
The posture of battle is praise.
It’s what I hope my children tell their future children. Grandma lived her life this way. She knew a secret. The way to deal with anguish, worry or failure…Praise God.
Before the battle, position yourself in the posture of praise. Knees to ground. Hands up. Deep, full breaths.
A posture of gratitude and trust. An acknowledgement of God is God, and I am not Him.
Receiving. Then reflecting from the overflow.
Praise as response, praise as precursor.
Praise over, under, through.
From Your hand.
Smooth is easiest, of course.
The glassy surface. No wind. Clear. Beautiful and predictable.
But there will be no sailing on that water.
Best to stay on shore. Watch from the edge. Let the worries keep me here.
It’s just not enough for me. It never has been. I want to move from where I stand.
A hunger not satisfied in my own efforts.
It’s a question He asks. Will you leave the shallow edge. Will I?
I long for deeper. Ruffled , troubled waters. Wind. Full sails.
In the yielding is the radical.
To follow as He beckons. To see what He sees. To know Him.
No more exuberant greeting, freshly shaved face, or tender hug.
No more fist bump as he passed our pew after communion.
I never realized how much he did for me.
And now he’s gone.
What do I do with that?
He’s gone, and dad’s gone.
The tweed gentlemen…patriotic, honorable, kind.
After dad, his presence comforted.
When I hugged him, my cheek brushed his sportcoat, his cologne a reminder of good and of memories. And he always kissed and patted.
Did he know he served my heart? Did he know his kindness was precious?
I won’t again walk into church without remembering him.
The tweed gentlemen aren’t here.
but are There…