Friday, January 4, 2013

Build an Altar Here

Can I whisper something in your ear?  It’s not really a secret but it feels like one of those holy things that can only be spoken of in hushed tones inside quiet sanctuaries. Can this be our sanctuary today?

The invitation was for those who need healing. But my wounds aren’t physical. The pain isn’t localized to any place you can lay your hands on. It’s deep. Hidden. Several minutes passed before I convinced myself the invitation was also meant for me. I stepped into the aisle telling myself, “Just get up there. He will do the rest.”

Then a woman whose face I didn’t know was standing in front of me, asking how she could pray.
“My heart. Pray for my heart,” was all I could think to say.
“Physical or emotional?” She asked.
“Emotional…” and I stammered, trying to say more but coming up empty.

So she started to pray as you would expect someone to pray for a stranger with unspoken requests. But then she paused. And my spirit began groaning with utterings too deep for words – quietly, in the pattern I am used to when I don’t know how to pray. She listened, and took my head in her hands. Like a mother, her forehead touched mine, crooning sounds of sympathy.

And then she began to pray with understanding.

{Here is where I want to whisper} Do you catch my meaning? She prayed specifically – as though I’d poured out my heart with her for a lifetime. This stranger prayed like she knew me, reading my heart open. She heard and understood my groanings. My spirit laid me bare, though I did not know it.

In the arms of this woman, I broke. In awe that my Heavenly Father sees me. He hears my heart and whispers my secrets to strangers when I am incapable. The wonder of holy moments such as these steals my breath. When I feel most forgotten and lost – or even when I don’t feel at all – He invades my consciousness, unmistakably informing me that I am seen, heard, understood, and extravagantly loved. He provides guidance and instruction, lighting my path and confirming the direction I am to go. He assures me that I am right where I belong in His hands.

Let there be no mistake. He still works miracles.

In the Old Testament whenever a miracle took place or God did something significant He instructed His people to build an altar in that place so that future generations would pass by the monument and recall the works of a mighty God. Today, this is my altar. A miracle happened here. Will you join me in my worship?