Worshiping with Dead People

Week 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 that 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, there 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

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  1. Amazing. This brought me such encouragement.

  2. paula says:

    Thank you, Lori. I really, really needed to hear this. Like that “whisper into the wind” this pierces my discouragement with hope and promise. Thank you. Truly.

  3. Carla says:

    Just what I needed today. Thanks, Lori~

  4. Funny how sometimes we share the same thing, but in different ways. My wife went to Texas for a month and a half to see her Mom and to get warm. “They live near South Padre Island.” Anyhow I used the time to visit some churches on my bucket list. Churches I have never been to, but have for years intended to go too. Even went to a revival and I found I truly needed that. I realized though I love my home church the fire is barely maintained. Went to one church that listens to the sermons over and over of a man who died clear back in December 1965, via audio tapes. Scary huh ? I discovered that one of the things I miss about driving is the opportunity to fellowship with those I do not really know except in Spirit. Those meetings are really awesome and as I learned in my years of attending “The Church of the Eighty Foot Parking Lot” (a post on my blog) Christ is present in almost every church. We just need to enter seeking him to find him. The problem is that many churches have given up seeking him as they feel being present is all that is required. Looking forward to seeing you next month, Lord Willing.