Thy lovingkindness, o Lord, extends to the heavens.
They faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Thy judgements are like a great deep.
O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast.
How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Thy house;
And Thou dost give them to drink of the river of Thy delights.
For with Thee is the fountain of life;
In Thy light we see light.
i first saw her this morning as a blurred up figure behind the windscreen, a person waving at me as she drove up the road. i waved back at the front door welcoming people to church. When i saw her in the auditorium, she called out to me by my name. Though her face looked sort of familiar, i could not remember where i had seen her before, or how she came to know my name. i hugged her as i would hug every lady who knows me by my name. Surprisingly, she latched on tightly and did not let go. i embraced her back. It was as if time stopped, and i could hear my own breathing. A great sadness poured out of her. i whispered into her ear, "Are you okay?" This was when her words gushed out from a canned up place. She hung on ever so tightly to me. i applied the same pressure and hugged her back, allowing her to cry into my shoulders. i remembered her from her story; i knew who she was as she shared the heaviness in her heart. i felt my heart break with hers. i did not know what to say. i just allowed her to melt in my arms. i just let her release all that was bottled up inside. She came this morning seeking to be comforted, to be loved and accepted.
Between sobs, she apologized for her overwhelming grief. i told her there was no need to be embarrassed; she was in a safe place. In this place, she is accepted, she is welcomed. In this place, we are all just like her, people who need the grace and touch of God ourselves. i addressed her by her name and told her we were so glad to have her; so thankful that she was here.
"O, you remember my name!" she spoke into my ear, overwhelmed by something so minute. i told her i remember her from the time she was here for the Christmas Breakfast we as a church put on every Christmas morning for the people in this community. That must be where i had seen her first. She had wanted to come to church but felt uneasy to come alone. A tenant who rents a property we manage at work accompanied her here after finding out that this is my church. The tenant said she would feel more comfortable coming with this lady, because she would at least know me amongst strangers. i promised to sit with them when they come. i was surprised by how well known we are in this community, this neighbourhood. i was introduced to her by the tenant on her first visit to our church. She left half way through the service because she received an urgent call from her family. The tenant told me later at work that the news was grim. Her daughter is now terminally ill.
As we stood locked in an embrace, i asked her if she would like prayer. i promised to walk to the front with her; i assured her that i will stand with her at the front. While she was receiving prayers, i scouted around for someone with whom to leave her with because i was on deacons' duty unable to sit with her. i saw the perfect person with an empty chair besides her. When we had finished praying for her, i escorted her to her seat, asking my friend to take good care of her.
During the service, she indicated a decision to give her life to Jesus.
i have been pondering on this incident this day. i saw how privileged we are to be given favour; to be recognised and known by name; to be sought out. To be called to this place of great influence. It does not take much to make someone's day; it cost me nothing to give her comfort, to value her. i will put my hand up whenever God needs a hugger. Let me be the one to just hug. Because in the Kingdom of God there is no small task; no act of love insignificant. It is always a privilege to be at the right place, at the right time. Even if all i am in His Kingdom is a hugger, i would have been given the greatest privilege.
What is truly amazing is that i found i did what i did this morning naturally; i found i was not following an order, or a rule, or a job description of the position that i stood at. i was simply being me; i did as my heart led me. Could this be what having a living fountain within us looks like? Is this what living out of that overflowing life from within feels like? It looks natural; it feels like our own nature. And i am suddenly astonished by the layers and levels of freedom and transformation already presented me. Without me realizing it, i have been transformed many times over, i have been set free layer by layer. The good news is, there is more. What is available to us overflows. It is a consistent and progressive work that the Holy Spirit does. With Him at work within, i cannot fail; i am fail-proofed.