25 02 2011

She is ninety years old and the sweetest woman you would ever want to meet. Her gentle spirit speaks to long years of walking with God. She radiates a beauty she is completely unaware she has. Her Bible is well worn. Its words are written on her heart, deeply etched from spending so much time with the Master. Her hands are stiff with arthritis, but pliable in the hands of her Lord. She serves with love, sings with joy, and inspires us with her faith and constant presence.

That is why it was so surprising. It was Sunday morning. The sermon was over, and the song we were singing invited tender hearts to deep surrender. There was a rippled pause as my sweet friend slowly made her way to the front. It was the walk of someone deeply broken, carrying a weight that only the Lord could bear. No one could imagine why she was there.

The elders surrounded her in a way that spoke to their profound respect and love for this dear soul. She talked quietly against one shoulder, bowing her head in a mirror of what was happening in her heart.

Finally, one the elders spoke on her behalf. She had come with a heart moved to repentance and confession. She grieved her sin, longing for a fresh movement of grace. Her tender heart spoke of her deep desire to look more like Jesus and her ache that she had failed to mirror Him. She asked for forgiveness. She mourned how her actions might have impacted the hearts of those around her.

She impacted me, but not in the negative way she feared. Her tenderness broke through the hardness of my own heart. Her transparency humbled me. Her willingness to be open about her struggle cast a light on my usual desire to manage my image. Her actions of repentance and confession challenged me to examine my own actions. Her desire to look more like Jesus flamed my own deep longing.

My Jesus Resolution is to be just like her. I want to have that kind of tender heart. I crave the sensitivity to the presence of God that she lived out before us. I long to be transparent to the core. I want to be so embedded in the movement of God that the slightest nudge sends me to my knees. I pray that someday somebody will be able to see Jesus as clearly in me as I see Him in her.



One response

1 03 2011
Linda Allard

Oh to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer. With gentleness and a contrite heart, may we always want to be like the Savior and may our life always reflect with humbleness our need for our Savior and Lord. Amen? Amen.

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