Have you ever had one of those paradigm shifting moments, where it almost feels like you're having an out-of -body experience? I did. Yesterday. Don't get confused here - I'm not talking about a weird, literal, new age type of way. It's just that I had one of those moments of such clarity that my world, which seems to constantly be spinning at 90 miles per hour, came to a complete and sudden stop.
There was nothing abnormal or particularly different about our day. It was a rather unassuming Sunday morning, actually. We slept in a little, worked our way through breakfast, wrangled 3 kiddos into something presentable and headed out for church. We weaved our way into the building saying our "Good Morning" and "Nice to see you"s and nestled into our seats. And then she came in.
She is a small and fragile looking woman. I have seen her before. We are not strangers, but we aren't close friends. She makes her way into the sanctuary and settles into her seat in front of us. This is not the first time. I have prayed for her and I'm praying now. She is small and frail, but she is not old. She is young, and a mother. Her body has betrayed her and she is fighting.
The music starts and my heart is stirring, but I'm not sure why. This Sunday is just like all the rest. But it's not. God is about to show me something. We start to sing and she is praising and she no longer seems weak or small. She is strong and peaceful and full of the Light of Christ. She is a beacon. She reminds me of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Praying for this cup to pass from her, but unwaveringly faithful either way. She bears a burden I know nothing of.
I recall all the petty things that get me unraveled and the moments I have taken for granted just that morning and I am wrecked. People facing the end of their life don't fake priorities or do things for show. While I sometimes grudgingly drag my feet out the door on Sunday morning, she has carefully prepared her day to be there. I guarantee it is harder on her than me. She's a baby in Christ, really. Pretty new to the Faith compared to a life-long Believer like me and yet her steadfastness shames me. It's easy to say how we would behave or respond in a particularly trying situation, but we never really know...do we? There are seasons of life that reveal our heart and character and seeing her in this season has caused me to examine mine.
There is some growth needed. There are things in my life that I need to clear away and distractions that need removed. My heart needs to be redirected and my faith needs a boost. God knew that. He always knows. And so He sends help.
The music plays on, the sermons finishes up and soon we are saying our "See you next week" and "God bless you"'s. She makes her way out, completely unaware that God has used her to change my life. I have prayed for her and I'm praying now.