Today I remember.
As I enter into Day 6 of my fast God has recalled a promise to my mind.
I just finished watching a video on the Passover meal by the Christian teacher Ray Van der Laan and in the video he stressed the word “ REMEMBER.” He says that the word “remember” means to intently focus on the memory and to let it shape you.
Shaping is a form of molding that only the Father can do. In order to be shaped we must be WILLING, PLIABLE, MOLDABLE and WORKABLE. Just as the clay is while it sits on the potter’s wheel, waiting to be sculpted into a beautiful vessel.
We are vessels of God’s love. What we pour into others is how they see God. We must pour out all that is holy, pure, true and good into and onto the world. If we don’t, how will others see God? Just as piece of pottery is fired to be strengthened and purified-we must be strengthened and purified too. Fasting is one way that God does this to us. But we have to be willing to do it. Phil 4:13 says “ I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”
It’s the TRUTH.
On the day that Pastor Ronnie was burying his beloved brother, Keith, I had an accident here at home. A glass bottle exploded in front of me and immediately sent me reeling in pain. The pieces of broken glass impaled my wrist. It was like a bomb went off. My left wrist was spurting blood like a geyser. I knew I was in danger. I held my arm ( and managed to keep my wits about me as I was home alone) and ran inside. I grabbed a kitchen towel and wrapped my arm-blood still spurting everywhere. I tried my best to call 911 but it took three attempts because I couldn’t hold my arm and the phone. Today it is laughable, but it wasn’t then.
I will spare you the details.
My memory is of this: As I stood on the porch, holding my arm up, I promised God that I would do whatever he asked me to do if he would keep me alive. ( I really didn’t know that I had sliced an artery or if I had passed out I would have died-as the Dr. told me later- but I sensed an urgency. The ambulance driver/EMT and Dr. all told me later that I was lucky to be alive. There is no luck in the world-only answered prayers and speedy ambulance drivers who are passionate about what they do and know HOW to do it. ) I was pacing back and forth and something told me to sit down and not expend any energy, so I did. As I sat there my life literally flashed before me, but the thing I thought about the most were my kids. I did not want my kids to be without their mother. I felt like I was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clinging to the tzitzits ( the knotted tassels) on the hem of his tallit. (prayer shawl) In that moment I surrendered all.
Today, I am remembering that moment.
Over the past year and a half I have often asked myself why Keith died and I didn’t. It didn’t make sense to me. I don’t really know. I have often felt guilty about that. I don’t know why God takes one and leaves another. I don’t know why my Pastor and his family have had to suffer so much, but I do know that I have grieved with them and have carried this little piece of guilt around with me. I don’t think I realized that’s what it was until this very moment. Today I am leaving it at the feet of Christ. I didn’t know Keith, but I know how loved and missed he is by his family and I believe that they will all be together again one day, communing under the Tree of Life.
My prayers today are with my Pastor’s and their families. You see on the day of Keith’s burial-one was grieving and another was rescuing. Pastor Ty came from the funeral to the ER, where I was, to tend to my needs and the needs of my family, as well as the needs of Pastor Ronnie. That’s what servants do. They serve in the midst of chaos, pain and death.
I promised God that if he saved me I would do whatever he asked of me and I will.
Thank you Jesus, Lord of all. I’ll love you with my whole being, with everything you have given me-it won’t be easy-but I’m yours. Fully and wholly yours…to do with as you will. I trust you with it all. I ask for an anointing over our church family and our Pastors as they press on in the ministries you have given them. I pray for healing and forgiveness to come to those who need it and those who don’t know they need it. All need something and that is more of you. Today Lord you have given me more of you. I long to be in your presence forever and always. No words can describe the state of my heart at this moment. Pure, unspeakable and abundant joy. May your people be willing and in their willingness may they be strengthened for your service.
Today I remember.