Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Singing!

For several months, Mari has been asking questions and wanting to discuss issues of faith.  Last fall, she was adamant that she wanted to "take Jesus as her Savior".  We recognized that particular phrasing from another household of friends.  When I asked her what "Savior" meant, she couldn't really tell me.  I knew that God had begun a good work in her and I didn't sense a need to rush things.  He would be faithful to complete it.

When she took my wedding ring off the counter and lost it last fall, the conversations escalated in frequency, duration, and depth.  We discussed the intricacies of remorse, forgiveness, and our human inability to restore things....sometimes we just CAN'T make things right.

Her apparent brokenness over my lost ring was clear evidence of God's movement in her life.  We continued to trust Him.
Sunday night, in MP3 (kid's choir), I was introducing a new song.  Everyone seemed rambunctious, so
I instructed all the little worshippers to find a quiet spot on the floor and lie down.  As I dimmed the lights, I told them I was going to play a song and I wanted them to close their eyes and listen.  They were NOT to interact with their neighbors...just listen to what God was saying through the song...and talk to Him about it if they needed to.

Monday morning, MariAlice randomly admitted, "Mom, you know that beautiful song we listened to while we were laying down?  Well, it made me cry."

Realizing what a humble admission this was for her personality, I stopped what I was doing to let her tell me more.

She continued,  "It was such a sweet song.  I listened to the words, and I don't know why, but I just started crying."

I told her that the Lord loves it when His children have soft and broken hearts toward Him.

"He does?"

I explained that God loves us so much that He wants to be best friends.  But He is holy and He is perfect.  He can't be around sin.  And since we are sinners, we can't be near Him or be His friend.  I explained that God has a plan to be our friend again.  He sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sin.  Since Jesus is Holy, He was the perfectly acceptable sacrifice.  To receive this wonderful gift, we have to humble ourselves and come to him with sad hearts about our sin.

She seemed to dismiss some of her apprehension over her emotions.

Tuesday morning, Mari asked if she could watch Bible class with Ashlin.  Several minutes later she came out with moist eyes and a troubled expression.

cdj: "What's up, Mari?"
ma:  "I want to take Jesus as my Savior so bad!"
cdj:  "Well, ok.  Why do you want to?"
ma:  "Because I don't want to go to hell.  I'm a sinner and if He doesn't save me, I'll go to hell."
cdj:  "Well, the Bible says if you confess your sins, He is faithful to forgive them.  And if you call on His name, you will be saved."
ma:  (frustrated)  "I know!  I have prayed like ten times!  It still hasn't worked!"
cdj:  (providing my typical comic relief defense mechanism) "How do you know it hasn't worked?  Do you think you're going to sprout purple polka dots or something?"
ma:  (with sniffles that were half giggles) "No. I just don't know if it worked."
cdj:  "Can you do anything to save yourself from your sins?"
ma:  "No Ma'am."
cdj:  "Has God promised to forgive you if you call to Him?"
ma:  "Yes Ma'am."
cdj:  "Then you have to believe Him and trust Him that He will do what He says He will."
ma:  "oh."
cdj:  "Would you feel better if I prayed with you?"
ma:  "Nope.  I've already ask Him to be my Savior.  I just have to trust Him.  But, what happens if I sin again?"
cdj:  "God's Spirit will whisper to you that it is sin and you'll need to confess it to God and He will forgive you for it.  He will never give up on you!"
ma:  (still humbly tearful)  "It just makes me want to cry.  He is my Savior.  I know He loves me.  I love Him too."

The same gene that grants Mari Alice the aversion to public display of emotion, is threatening her ability to share her good news.  As her predecessor recovering from pride, I long to nip it in the bud.  The older kids were encouraging her that the next step in the process was to be baptized.    She seemed concerned.  I sensitively explained to her that Jesus did not let people's opinion of Him effect him.  He was teased and mocked and laughed at, but He still chose to live through we could be right with God.  Now it's our turn to ignore the fear of public opinion and be faithful to share the good news of God's salvation.

She sweetly agreed.

She told her story to her friend in the backseat this morning.  Her testimony began...

"You know that song we sang in the dark the other night?  Did you know it made me cry?  Well, it did...."

And I'm Singing to the God who brings redemption to the nations

Kings and oceans bow to Him in praise

And I'm Singing to the God who wrote the book on our salvation

To the One who covers me in grace

I'm Singing