Tuesday, July 1, 2014 2 comments

Remember ... always.

He had been talking for a while. I had tried to interact, but at some point I lost track of what he was trying to express, and started only half listening. Meanwhile, the other half of me was busily thinking of this, that, and the other, and occasionally muttering an "Mmhm," in response to his expectant pauses as I walked behind his blue check shirt and wavy blonde hair. I followed behind him until in his boy-ish chivalry (and, more likely, enthusiasm) he opened the door for me to go outside with him.

I walked through without hesitation, but he stood there, still holding the door, and changed his tone so that suddenly I felt as if this was important, and needed my full attention.

"And remember!" He said, waiting to continue until my eyes had firmly locked with his - sparkling, blue, mischievous, and yet sincere. "I will always be your friend."

Unflinchingly, he kept his eyes focused on me - not as if waiting to give a punch line, or wondering if I'd thought he was silly, but boldly and reassuringly, yet wondering what my response might be.

At that point, I wished I had given his little self my full attention, and not been so quickly distracted by all the things around me, the things I had yet to do; but I realized that this was an opportunity - regardless of what had led to his statement, and regardless of how long a four-year-old truly believes "always" to be - to affirm the unconditional love that he had, who knows how purposefully, just expressed.

All I could think to say, and the best I could come up with to respond was to repeat his words back to him: "And you will always be my friend."

With that, he gave a confident smile, and we joined his sister and drew on the sidewalk until the last piece of chalk had been spent.

It was a moment, but moments are the things that define our lives. Moments are what we think about and ponder, and sometimes moments change the world.

The phrase this little friend chose to use reminded me of something much bigger than he or I could ever promise, but it's where we get the idea for these kind of statements. It's like something God has promised, something that He says to His children, unflinchingly and boldly, when our eyes have locked with His.

Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

"I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Remember ... always. Remember ... always.

They're the sort of words that you want to repeat, that bring an unexpected joy.
And, while "always" may be an uncertain amount of time to a little boy, "always" with Christ means just that. And not only is He our friend, but by His blood and by His body He is our savior and our intercessor, who ever lives and pleads for us. Always.

Take heart, friends, and remember. Always.

Thursday, January 16, 2014 1 comments

Be Still My Soul

We sang "Be Still, My Soul" in worship last Sunday, and as we did, it occurred to me that I love this song. That sounds silly, perhaps, but it’s one I’ve been familiar with for most of my life, and sometimes we don’t give familiar things the sort of thought we should until one day we realize we love them. So, as we sang it through, and then for a little while after, I just pondered each line, section by section and word by word for a moment. And it was beautiful, peaceful.

I thought I would share with you in several parts (though, we all know by now how consistent I really am at posting here), some of my thoughts and meditations on these lines, and I encourage you to pause and think about them, too.

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side….

Do you know how to be still? I think you do. Can you do it for just a moment? And, as you’re being still, and calming the restlessness of life that toils inside you, remember this: The Lord is on thy side.

Don’t just skim it, but rest your eyes on it, and rest your soul in the thought: The Lord is on thy side.

He is not far off, but near to those who draw near to Him. And He loves you, beloved child. He loves you. He would be willing to fight for you with His dying breath … and He did. His desire is not to fight against you, but to be a united front with you. If you are on His side, He is on your side.

Be still, and remember that.