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.
I wish you could see what I see when I look at you!
I dearly love you, Lynne Rittler.
Such amazing perspective my friend. I think of that often with my own hubby and pray that he sees Jesus in me and through me. My children too. I pray to be that to them as well.
Hey, sweet friend…
This post reminds me of when we moved to where we lived now, 18 years ago. I was lonely, very homesick, and spiritually starving. Just a miserable time in my life. A year after our move, our oldest son started kindergarten. Every afternoon, the parents would gather in the cafeteria to wait for the children to be released. There was a particular group of women that caught my eye. They didn’t even realize I was watching them. I was literally drawn to them each day, and they graciously included me in their conversations. They were warm, friendly, happy, and there’s was something sooo different about them. Whatever it was, I wanted it! Long story short…it was Jesus. They just loved Him so much, it showed on their faces AND in their everyday lives. Our family joined the same church, our hearts and souls were changed, and we’ve never been the same!
Thank you for reminding me that it’s not so much what I say as much as it is what I DO.
I’m right there with you! For such a long time I’ve wondered if the silent witness to our beloved children/grandchildren is not the more impactful one. It has become the motivation of my heart – – to live & breath & have my being right in plain sight of them, and in & through Him. I also ask myself when about to speak, or to make a decision: ” Is this blessable?” If not, I retreat …
Love your heart!
“Is this blessable?”
This sentence, and the advice on how to use it might just be the most profound wisdom I’ve received in, well…I don’t know how long!
Oh miss Melinda, how I have missed your insight, your heart, and your writing.
Just the other day I read something akin to your message here… Our actions will influence people for or against Christ. Something about that simple word “against” has stuck with me. I don’t want (my word & deeds) to be the reason another might turn away from Christ. Thank you for this message today, you have painted a lovely image to the flip-side of the matter.
(it’s me, A Simple Country Girl–just have a new place and new handle now 😉
Melinda – I love your writing my sweet friend, and this post encouraged me at a level I needed right now. We’ve been through a “hard spell” the past few months in ministry, and I know that I’ve got some folks with their eyes on me…looking for me to fall, mess up, or get angry, and I’ll admit it’s getting harder. But I know and run to the One who tells me that He is watching everything, including me. One of my memory verses a couple of months ago was Psalm 11:4
The LORD is in His holy temple
the LORD is on His heavenly throne
He observes everyone on earth;
His eyes examine them.
And this afternoon when I go pick up two of my little grandblessings to spend the night…I want to remember that they are watching me too, and the legacy for them means everything to me!
Love you friend,
I loved this Melinda!! One of my very favorite things is to be around my G’s and listen to them singing worship songs or playing worship music on guitar or violin!
It doesn’t get much sweeter 🙂
I love you girl and love to see you writing!!