|My Sunday shoes, Kevin the teenager’s
Some Sunday mornings you show up at church and God decides to surprise you. Like the other morning when the teenagers from youth group—ages 15 to 19—took the stage and lead our worship time. They had some big shoes to fill; but we were not disappointed.
Their spirits were eager and sincere; voices filled with joy and energy. Even when you couldn’t hear them because they kept stepping away from the mikes.
Our fearless point man, a gentleman who only a few summers ago was outside mowing our lawn, commanded the platform with his confidence and abandon to God’s presence through the music.
The same young man who has battled a serious stutter all his life.
In a daring act of bravery, in my humble opinion, he decided to not let that stop him from doing what he loved–singing and playing guitar.
After the second song, he slid his phone from his back pocket (and lest we think he was texting his girlfriend) proceeded to read an encouraging word from a devotional that had moved him.
I don’t remember the content of the words, only that they were full of power and truth.
I kept thinking, ‘Hey, he’s not stuttering anymore… That’s a bit of a small miracle.”
|I have never been to Africa.
I have been to Yosemite.
My sister in law is on safari in Africa, the culmination of a lifelong dream many years in the making. She is in the sixth decade of her life, so this is no small accomplishment. This morning my niece informed me she communicated with her mom just yesterday via Viber, some new voice app that allows you to talk to anyone anywhere in the world.
Even if you’re traversing the Ngorongoro Crater (the largest unflooded caldera in the world) located inTanzania Africa, whilst snapping photos of elephants and giraffes.
Does that not strike you as a miracle? Not the largest unflooded caldera part—2,000 feet deep and 100 square miles across (clearly a God-can-only-do-that-miracle) but that a person in Seattle can talk to someone literally on the other side of the world….on the telephone??
Of course the word ‘miracle’ is thrown around a lot these days. Discussions of everything from the power of aromatherapy to bathroom cleaners to headache pills. All are evidence of something completely out of this world amazing. Miraculous.
But I think being 9,280 miles from home and being able to speak to your daughter on the phone is a miracle.
This last weekend I met a man who was 104 years old. He wore a straw hat and sang in a silly voice on cue. “I used to do voice overs in Hollywood,” he told us. We thought he was joking about Paramount Pictures and all, but I Googled his name and sure enough, there he was on a YouTube.
Well, that’s a small miracle–living to be almost 105….
Once a month we get to share at a Seattle-area nursing home. My husband prepares a small message, I lead the worship—my favorites, the old hymns and choruses—and a small band of friends come with us to play piano, pass out songbooks or pray with the old folks.
It is a bit of an effort on a Sabbath Sunday, especially when we’ve just spent a few hours in worship and fellowship already. Then we drive 40 minutes or so, set up chairs, sing, pray, minister and talk some more, hop in the car and drive home. It’s a long day but always so very worth it.
I love leading the singing—no fancy sound system, no guitars, just myself and the old folks and our friend at the piano. But it is glorious. There’s something powerful about the stripped down lyrics and music in that kind of setting. You can’t hide behind the strums of a beautiful guitar or the gift of harmonizing voices, no amplification to help you sound a little better. It’s just a roomful of varied folks—wheelchair bound, hard of hearing, paralyzed or otherwise impaired—singing our hearts out.
I always end up leaving more blessed than when I came. Especially when there are rainbows.
Before we started our service, the Director was looking out the second story plate glass windows and yelled, “Look!” We turned wheelchairs around, everyone oohed and aahhed. I’m glad I snapped a picture.
Rainbows are not an uncommon occurrence here in the Northwest—all that rain.
But no matter how many times we see one, it always stops us in our tracks.
How could that arc of color, perfectly formed, bend through the sky just so in exactly the same colors every time?
Where does it go when the sun goes away?
Why can’t we find the end of it (and that pot of gold)?How does God DO that?
Three small miracles, ones you could see, hear and feel. The God-made kind, right in front of me.
What kind of miracles will you see today?