As Jeff nears the end of his message, I begin to weep. Jeff is speaking as a father to his son, and so my Father is speaking. Like a child at his dying father’s bedside, this moment feels so large and sacred and solemn and holy; it is beyond my understanding. Everything hinges on this moment. My life, my future, my destiny, are in his hands. Be still. Don’t move. Listen. Wait.
The weight of it all pulls me to my knees. Now my face is on the floor. God pulls a big cork from my heart; the bottled emotions of years pour out on the carpet. I shake and sob and tremble and weep as God’s presence wraps around me. I ask the Lord “Please let Gene know that it’s good.” He has never seen me like this. He must think something awful is happening.
Now I feel the terrible reality of my own sinfulness and resistance to God. Yet the impossible wonder of the cross is more terrible still. Jesus is dying for me. He is giving everything to save me.
“Oh Father, I have been so hard. I have fought you so long. I never knew you.” Bitter tears. “I have denied you. Just like Peter.”
Jesus rescues me. His hand grasps mine. His face holds my gaze. His strength lifts me. His love dissolves me. He is here.
“I know… I know…” He is not angry. He forgives. He has not turned away. He has loved me all along. How can he possibly love me like this?
“Oh Lord, I love you. I love you. I love you so much.” The cry is too big for my weak little body. It shakes me coming out.
His sweet mercy washes over me like ocean waves. Cleansing. Melting my brittle heart. He loves me! He loves me! My Father is here! I am his little child and he loves me!
Jeff has stopped talking. Time for prayer. A young man named Jacob is playing the piano and singing “Jesus, all for Jesus. All I am and have, and ever hope to be. All of my ambitions, hopes and plans. I surrender these into your hands.” I sing with him softly on the floor. I surrender.
Father accepts it. How can he be so tender, so gentle. He is kind. He is more kind than I ever imagined. He holds me. He doesn’t say many words to me. It is deeper than words. He is writing on my heart without words. Without physical sensation, he is embracing me. Without audible sound, I hear the beating of his heart so near.
There are a few words. He tells me to write to my sister and tells me what I should share with her. Our relationship has been distant and painful. It will be restored.
Jacob is singing a different song now. “It’s all about you, Jesus. And all this is for you. For your glory and your fame. It’s not about me. As if you should do things my way. You alone are God and I surrender.” I choke out the words. This can’t be all about me. I long to be consumed, for his glory and his fame.
He has a purpose for me. I have a future. There are dreams to be dreamed and embraced. He is calling me to them. I have been so stuck, but he is setting me free.
“How could I have missed you so long and so badly? How could I have been a Christian all these years and lived so far from your heart? How can I help someone else experience you like this?”
“Tell them about me.”