Friday, April 20, 2007

Loved by God

I've had a song on my lips today. I'm not going to tell you what it is until the end of the post though, so hopefully the words will make more sense.
And besides, maybe it will help soften all the "you're crazy" looks you might be casting at the screen by the time you get to the end of this post. Every now and then, I post simply because I want a record of something that's happened. This is one of those times. I'm posting this for me, if you get something out of it - great, if you don't... well, it wasn't for you anyway.

Wednesday something happened that pierced my heart. I had talked to a family that's been going through a rough time, and as I drove away my heart was hurting. Driving down the road I was weeping for them. I wept for the peace that they just can't seem to find. I wept for the frustration that seems to ooze from every crack of their house. I wept for the children in the house. I wept for the fact that the children are still open and seeking, and I prayed that God would keep his promise that if they sought, then they would find Him. I wept because I couldn't bear the thought of them growing up and growing hard. I wept because I couldn't help but weep.

It was a church night though, so I wiped my eyes and blew my nose, and I went to church. I made it through the song service, but as I tried to sit and listen to the sermon (one of my pastors finest, from the little bit I caught) I just kept wanting to cry. I stifled it and stayed dry until the thought hit me "What if no one else cries for them?" That's when I left in the middle of a sermon (something my dad, once a pastor, has always told me unnerves preachers so I generally know better than to do it). I went and found a quiet spot in one of the back rooms of the church and I wept. I could form no prayer except to say "Oh God". And I wept until I had no more tears.

Picking myself up off the floor and collecting the paper towels that had served well as tissues, I was emotionally worn down. I had no desire except to go home and go to bed and sleep. Going back into the main auditorium of the church I found two couples remaining and talking.

Here's the whole reason I'm writing this:

As I stood there listening to the conversation, someone walked up beside me and put their arm around my shoulder. I didn't know who it was, but I knew it was someone good, and I knew they loved me. I didn't recognize the person because I couldn't see them without turning, but I did recognze the feelings that came with that arm. The moment that arm went around my shoulder it gave me comfort. This arm, this blessed crazy arm, brought sweet comfort. It also brought warmth, and it gave me strength. It reminded me that I wasn't alone, and as I faced the people that were talking I knew I was facing them with this person by my side. The sudden relief of that arm drew a deep sigh from me that seemed to almost physically release the deep grief that I had felt all evening.

Instinctively, I turned to put my arm around this person in appreciation for their kindness.

And I discovered there was no one there.

The song on my lips today?

How sweet it is to be loved by you.

I needed the shelter of someone's arms
And there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs
And there you were
With sweet love and devotion
Gently touching my emotion

I want to stop and thank you Jesus
I just want to stop and thank you Jesus
How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I close my eyes at night
Wonderin' where would I be without you in my life
Everything I did was such a bore
Everywhere I went, you know I been there before
But you brightened up for me all of my days
With a love so sweet in so many ways

I want to stop and thank you Jesus
I just want to stop and thank you Jesus
How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

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