Sunday, November 27, 2011
We sit behind french doors overlooking the dancing ripples of the Tennessee River. Orange and red are striking against the deep blue sky. The leaves sway to the rhythm of glistening water. Inside the melody drifts from the piano as my sister-n-law’s mother dances her fingers deftly across the ivory keys. Powerful words pour from her lips and move like a strong current through the hearts of the listening. “His arms are fortress for the weak. Let faith arise… I lift my hands to believe again… You are faithful God forever… Open my eyes…” Lyrics from a song by Chris Tomlin. I hold my daddy’s hand as tears stream down his weathered cheeks. This year has aged us all. I see it in my own face. My tears join his. We have sipped our coffee and listened to my Daddy’s deep voice read to us from Watchman Nee. Words about eternity. About finishing strong. Written by one who died after many years in a Chinese prison. The cost of his faith. I bite my lip and squint my eyes in a vain effort to keep my composure.
It is a hard thing. This living and believing. This trusting what we cannot see. This navigating painful waters. But we are given grace. And glory moments.
This. A glory moment. A taste of eternity. Mixed with the bitterness of salty tears. I sense that this is a fight across generations. Not between us, but together we are bonded by these moments when we see God in nature and hear him in the music and feel him in the grip of each others’ hands. And yet inside we have been stretched thin by the hard things. We have fought alone. And we have fought together.
My Daddy says he prays that his eyes will be open to see a vision of heaven. Words are caught in my throat, but I nod and squeeze his hand. I know the longing well. I feel it like a tangible thing in this room full of reaching hearts stretched thin. And drawn tautly together. Strangely closer. Maybe to Him as well.
Perhaps you, too, have felt the pull of glory moments…