Thursday, October 1, 2009

Are you alive?

I asked a strange question to an unsuspecting friend yesterday. I saw her on facebook - this is someone I don't know very well, just see her at conferences since we were in junior high - and I IMed her asking if she was alive. "At the moment, yes." she replied, with a :).

I don't really know why I asked that. Perhaps because if someone asked me that, I would say, 'yes, finally.' Maybe a better question would have been, 'are you really living?'

The past 30 days, for me, have danced along Time's continuum like steps in a minuet - graceful, cadenced, neither too slow nor two fast. They've been spent working in the library, cooking, cleaning, organizing, making memories with friends and spending quality time with family and the Lord. I've read three graphic novels and a great biography, and am now engrossed in a lovely children's novel. I've sold some handmade jewelry and am now working on a custom piece. Of course the profits were promptly invested in new supplies...Michael's is a dangerous place!

I've been making the prayer meetings in Simpsonville on Wednesday nights (except for last night - my keys were missing!). When a child of God sincerely asks for the Lord to bless those gathered in His name, His answer is real - palpable. I encourage folks to not just pray at their meetings/church services, but to pray for them. In the car, even arriving early to ask the Spirit to move...He really honors that.

A few weeks past, while many saints were in the blending conference in Jacksonville, I visited the church in Columbia, where the remnant was gathered around a dining room table, praising God with raw, unaided voices and partaking of the communion that somehow tasted sweeter than ever. It was worth driving two hours, getting lost, missing the was more than made up for by the sweet fellowship, the meal afterward...this is the church life. Then I spent the rest of the day with a friend who recently moved to Columbia from Spartanburg, a friend whose main contact with Christianity has been judgement and restriction... she feels free, rooming with a quasi-Pagan who "accepts her just as she is" - she feels like she can create her life into whatever she wants it to be, now she has to figure out what that is. I am glad she feels free. But what will she choose? Christian though she may be, will she ever tap into the meaning of her life that is, already? Will she ever see how much she is loved and valued by her maker and be willing to accept His vision for her within His plan? Or will she grasp her life firmly and make of it what she thinks she wants, which may be much smaller than what could be...? I pray for her.

Bible study has been especially enjoyable, as the various members of rise up to supply every need. Kathy, our normal teacher, is still out, handling a lot with her sons...I never wrote about that, did I? Well, you'd be best off getting the full story here: (Caring Bridge for the Vangsnes boys) but basically, they were out in Montana, serving God as summer missionaries, when they had a terrible car wreck that left one with several broken bones and one in a coma.
Dan, whose leg and back are healing up surprisingly well, has recently come back home from the Montana hospital. Jeremy, who flew home much sooner, has come out of the coma into what is called a "semi-concious vegetative state." He can sometimes control movements and exhibit signs that he's comprehending what's being said to him, which is a long way from the braindead pronouncement the doctors initially gave him. If you pray, they could certainly use your prayers, although the prayers of the saints around the world have been so potent already...I wish I had time to tell you all the stories of miracles, large and small, that surround this family, but you'd be better off reading them for yourself at their site.

Anyway, Bible study has been a little different with various saints rising up to teach, and me finally putting my musical gifts to consistent use for their benefit. But it's so good. I always leave feeling like 'This is it. This is the church. This is...where it's at.' Something is happening with that rag-tag little band of Christians that go to different places on Sunday mornings. The Lord is doing something, He's been working on it for six years or so but it's now starting to...bubble up a little bit, like a simmering pot. We all feel it, although we couldn't tell you exactly what it is - it's something new.

Hmm. Sometimes you just start writing without an idea of what you mean to say. I guess life is like that, my life anyway. But I like it that way. God is writing this story and He knows exactly what He means by it. If I knew the ending, or even the next chapter, I might just cramp His style.

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