We went to church yesterday, as is the usual case most Sunday mornings. It was a fine service and the message was about how we can strengthen the Body through our relationships, and the example we set for others. Certainly, it wasn’t the first time I’d heard this message, but it might have been the most poignant and one I’ll always remember, because, even though the pastor spoke like always, the message I heard was delivered by a mother and her 3-ish year old son in the fourth row.
I love to worship through music. Sometimes, though, it can cause me to worship just as deeply when I see someone else completely engaged, as if they were alone in the room, with our Lord. Such was the case when my eyes caught sight of a young mother in the middle of an especially moving song. Eyes closed, and hands raised, she stood next to her husband, also engaged, who was holding their young son. The boy was faced outward so he could see the lay of the land, but his eyes were glued to his mother. He didn’t make a single sound, but intently studied her face and her hands. Then, completely on his own, he lifted his little face to the ceiling, closed his eyes, and raised his left hand into the air. It was the single most breathtaking thing I’ve seen in a long time.
The thing is, neither of his parents saw him do this. By the time the song was over and they opened their eyes, their little boy was there smiling at them as if nothing had happened.
Having received my “message” before the actual message began, I thought of little else throughout the service. To be honest, I’ve thought of little else since. It was the perfect picture of how our example effects others, even when we don’t know they’re watching. That child trusted his mama (imperfect as she was), and thought if it was something she thought was worth doing, then it was probably worth his doing it, too. Even if he didn’t understand it, the trust made it worth a try.
Certainly, this applies to the “little eyes” in our lives, the children who trust us to show them the way and take in everything we do – GOOD AND BAD – as being something worth their trying. But I also think of the adults in our everyday circles who don’t know Christ. If we are seeking to strengthen the body, we’ve got to build a bridge of trust to not only the easily-lovable, but the not-so-lovable, too. Trust gives your Christ-like example weight and credibility. If a person feels cared for and has learned to trust, they’ll be more likely to give the things of Christ a try, which allows the Lord an open door to pour into that person and build faith and understanding.
Those eyes are always watching, evaluating, and weighing the options. So I’m left with this question:
What will they see in me?
My prayer for myself is that they’ll see a life engaged in worship, no matter what I’m doing. Not a perfect life, but a life lived in and through a forgiving Savior who loves me for who I am and has covered (and continues to cover) every sin and blunder on the pages of my life.
I’m starting fresh, today, with a new intention: to step outside myself and examine what I see – WHO I see – through their eyes.