Worshiping Among the Dead

skull-and-crossbones-77950_640Week after week, they arrive; expecting nothing; so that is exactly what occurs, and they leave, unchanged.

All but one. He holds out hope. Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, he walks through the doors open-hearted, seeking God with his whole soul, striving to see Him, ready for Him to move in their midst, worshiping among the dead.

God points him out to the watching angels. “There, see how he worships with expectation even in the midst of their unbelief?”

“Yes,” says a cruel angel, “but his hopes are dashed week after crushing week. Is that your plan for him, that he should worship you each week to the sound of his breaking heart?”

“My plan for him includes eternal rewards beyond your wildest dreams, cruel one. I see his enduring hope, his commitment to love the way I love, his faith that I see him, and it is all written in the record of his days.”

“Is it right to let him suffer his way?” asked a sweet angel, one who had compassion on humans.

“You think he suffers? He bears sadness, yes. He faces disappointment, yes. But week after week, he sees my face, he hears my voice, I fill Him with my love. This is the love that fuels his hope. The love the bears and believes all things, the love that hopes and endures all things. Suffering is what they face who have abandoned their Sunday morning hope, have vacated their hearts, have no expectation of change.”

The sweet angel leaned over to see better. “He receives the benediction with a heavy heart.”

God says, “Watch.”

He whispers into the wind, a wind that flies like an arrow to the mind of him who hopes.

“There,” says the Lord, “see his smile as he hears my voice. His heaviness is lifted as He allows me to bear it. My joy is his strength.”

“Pathetic,” said the cruel angel, although he too leaned closer to see. “Why does he remain with them? There are gatherings where he would not be alone.”

God smiled. “I have placed some trees in the forest while others stand alone on city streets or desert paths. They each serve their purpose and dig their roots in deep exactly where I secure them. See how he flourishes!”

“What will happen?” asked the sweet angel. “Will he remain alone?”

“Watch. Watch and keep watching. See, not from their view, but from ours.” And as God spoke, they watched the man in prayer at the back of the sanctuary as the others gathered their belongings and headed out of the service.

“What is that?” asked the sweet angel.

Waves like an eruption of light in the Northern skies went out from him and flowed through the crowd like a blanket of green and gold and blue. As they touched the people, passing over them and through them, the cruel angel recoiled.

“What is it?” asked the sweet angel.

“Nothing,” shouted the cruel one as he departed.

“Lord?” asked the sweet one.

“Those are the prayers of one righteous man as their effect touches and covers the people. The cruel one knows all too well their power,” God replied.

“What is this one’s name, Lord?” asked the sweet angel.

“Persistent Warrior, Enduring Loved One, Friend of God,” replied the Lord.

Always, loved ones, is the world we can see and the one that is more real. Do you labor alone? Have you interceded for long without result? Are you the single one who holds out hope where others have abandoned theirs?

Ask the Lord for eyes to see and ears to hear and faith to hold out just a little longer.

“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Hebrews 10:36-39

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.  And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Ezekiel 37:1-3

BONUS this week: I’ve ventured into video storytelling and I’d love your feedback! When you have four minutes, check out the quick flick on my speaking page that tells the adventure of the black belt ladies bible study!

 


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9 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. carl gurbisz says:

    Love it Lori…thanks! Do you do any children’s fantasy writing on the side or for hire?

  2. Wanda says:

    Thanks Lori! I really needed to hear this. God spoke to me so strongly through your words. Thank you for being obedient to His Spirit.

  3. Maxine D says:

    Thank you 🙂 Wise words, and encouraging.
    Blessings
    Maxine

  4. Joyce says:

    Dang it Lori! I was all set to just walk away! These people are TOTALLY MISSING IT! Why should I sit there and bang my head against the wall again and again and again? And now I have to persist because I know that, though this probably hit the mark for a lot of other people, it slammed the 2×4 right between my eyes. AAARRRGGGHHHH!! Why does God do that?? Don’t you have some fiction thing to write or something? If this keeps up I’m never going to get to stay mad!!

  5. Linda McClellan says:

    You speak the truth and it is so sad for those who go and never understand, never find God in their weekly quest. But the blessing is in the one man who knows the Lord and the beauty you describe that comes from him in his prayers for other. I love the video/song, beautiful song! Who recorded it? Thanks again Lori for another great blog. That’s what I love about them, you never know what you’re going to get!

  6. Carla Allaire says:

    Awesome, Lori! This reminds me of ‘The Shack’ by Wm Young. Not many answer the call, sadly. But Abba sees us, worshiping when all others sit in glassy-eyed silence. WE worship because we are so THRILLED Abba picked us up out of the pig pen and cleaned us up, gave us clean clothes of righteousness and set our feet on the path. Those poor souls who endure church instead of reveling in the beauty of His Presence just don’t know what they are missing. But I pray for them, that their hearts will be pricked, and they will quit playing church and actually desire a relationship, not religion, but a relationship with the Savior and Lover of our souls. God bless, hon!

  7. Asher says:

    Beautiful post again Lori – thanks for touching the heart where I needed it. Please be blessed and keep striving in work and love.