I witnessed three incredibly beautiful things the past three days. There is beauty every day, but these moments were exceptional. Moments that make your heart catch in your throat. Moments that you are sure God is beaming from...ear to ear...sea to sea...the east to the west? However wide God grins, I'm not sure, but I could certainly feel His tenderness in each moment.
The first took place Saturday night at the wedding of two good friends of mine, Scott and Anna. They had just said their vows - surrounded by family and friends - and taken communion together. As they finished communion, they were joined by both sets of parents who proceeded to lay hands on them and pray over them.
The moment lasted only a few minutes, and yet I got a sense that we all could have watched it for hours.
The peace. The gratitude. The earnest desire of the Lord's will in two people's lives.
All with the sweet vocals of the bride's brother and sister filling our ears. It was a sight to behold.
And through vision blurred by tears, I found my heart grateful for a God who not only redeems, but delights in us.
Sunday brought the second beautiful moment. I was in the second row at church. PK had just delivered a fabulous message about authority in our lives. KQ gave an invitation for those who desired to surrender to the Lord's authority to come forward and kneel before our great God.
Oh my word. There is just something crazy emotional about the welcoming of a new believer into the family of God...
There aren't words to describe the weight, the joy, the release, the freedom, the peace.
And it's not even me making the commitment. I'm just witnessing people I don't even know! But somehow their story is mine too. Because everybody has a story. And each one is found in God's story.
Thankfully I was able to keep control so as not to enter into ugly-cry mode. No one wants to see that, even in church.
Ok, third moment. Let me set the stage...
Four years ago, my roommate, Erin B., had been through hell. A car accident led to testing that revealed the unexpected presence of Leukemia in her body. That was quickly followed by months of chemo.
And then it came back. Chemo again. And a search for bone marrow that could give her another chance.
By the grace of God, it was found. In the body of a young German man. He willingly gave his marrow to save her life, the life of someone he had never met and likely never would.
The transplant took place on August 15th, 2009. A day she will certainly never forget. It was the day countless prayers and hopes became a reality. She would be cancer-free!
Three years later she met her fabulous donor and his dad. A truly divine meeting. If only we could have all witnessed it!
And two weeks ago, Erin B celebrated 4 cancer-free years. Praise the Lord!
Moment #3 took place last night with several of Erin B's family, her bone marrow donor's father, and myself. On a boat. On the lake. The water was calm. The sun was setting. Glistening golden rays scattered across the water. A delightful time of dinner and convo had taken place.
I was gazing out the back of the boat as Erin B took the water-skiing reins. She was smoothly gliding on the water, confidence and peace etched on her face.
Her dad drove the boat as her donor-dad looked on.
The joy of the moment evident in every fibre of his being.
It was one of those rare moments that could have easily been missed. But the beauty was raw. I am tearing up even now as I recount the details in my head searching for words to convey the significance.
I couldn't help but think of the grin on her donor-dad's face mirroring that of our Heavenly Father's. He was watching this woman, who by the kindness of his son and the works of modern medicine was somehow mysteriously a part of him. She had lived in the throes of a body wrecked by cancer, and was now embracing fully a life of freedom and joy. Experiencing again one of her favorite past-times.
Is that what makes our Heavenly Father grin?
Living in our new selves, freed from the throes of sin and hell by the blood and obedience of His Son, living a life of compassion. Our interests and desires given full rein as they are shaped through Him.
What a glorious mystery!