Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

January 12, 2009

At church yesterday a group sang “As I went down to the river to pray” and we were invited to come to the baptismal font and dip our hands in the water as a reminder of having the Holy Spirit in our lives. We moved forward to the verses, “O Sister, O Brother, O Father, O Mother, O Sinner, come on down, studying about that good old way, who shall wear the robe and crown, Good Lord, show me the way.”

As I listened to the chant of the gospel song, I was thinking more of an event that happened earlier in the week far out in Idaho. With permission to share, Owen told us about going one night after work to some natural hot springs to soak (poor man’s jacuzzi!). He said the stars and moon were brilliant shining down. And sitting there beside him was the presence of Megan. What an experience! To sit in the warmth of the earth’s heated waters, to witness the starry heavens in unpolluted skies, and to feel a sister’s presence so intensely is a picture I will never forget. And for him, it must have been one of those “Ah-ha” moments - not capturable on film or even a written page, but only in and for his aching heart.

Sometimes we have to get away from it all to find it. Sometimes we have to clear the air, find a remote place, and seek silence to find it. The defining of “it” is often the issue – for me in Atlanta or my son in Idaho. Going to the waters of the baptismal font took me back to the basics of who I am and what I am called to be. Possibly going to the hot springs was the moment God came near to Owen, letting him have a glimpse of Megan in her beauty and wellness, assuring him that He is in control and is with us as we journey through life. I will believe that hot springs do have healing power.
And as I tried to define “it” last week for me, my word for the year “work” seemed to be totally unemployed. I was trapped in frivolity, lingering (by choice) in confusion and distraction, and I gave in to the good intentions of my friends who said I needed it, deserved it, earned it. By the end of the week it got to be comical and I felt as though God, in his sense of humor, was showing me just how very tricky and easy it is to self-indulge by many “good” things, and leave him waiting for me to get serious about the best that He has for me.
For several reasons I will not forget the events of this week early in the New Year. I will look at it on my calendar as a reminder of what I am doing today, tomorrow, and for whom. I am reminded of a quote that Megan had on her refrigerator in her apartment that reads:
“You go nowhere by accident.
Wherever you go, God is sending you.
Wherever you are, God has put you there.
Christ, who dwells in you has something
He wants you to do through where you are.
Believe this and go in His grace, love, and power.”
Robert Halverson

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