The first weekend of Advent, we were given a special gift from our dear friend, Mike Jay, the Producer of The Story Tour. Eight tickets. Our happy chatter steamed up the windows as we drove to the grande auditorium and as we walked down the aisle to go to our seats, pass the back row sections, then leading to the floor, and we walked and walked and walked down another aisle then down on the floor until we finally were brought to the 2nd row of seats...and my Father whispered to my overwhelmed heart..."THIS, is how I LOVE. THIS is how I LOVE YOU." We grinned at one another and wriggled into our seats, the children's legs swinging in anticipation of the good things to come...
And as Natalie Grant sang O Holy Night, Suddenly, it was all brand new again...The Story of Jesus...and His LOVE for me. His Beauty...and even the song itself. I have sung this solo many times but the way Natalie Interpreted it was Glorious. I have placed it above these words for you to enjoy. Isn't it interesting that each Christmas Season brings a new message to our hearts? For me...this season there are several making their way first in my heart....Light Shining in the Darkness, OVERCOMING the Darkness.... A feeling of "What is this? What is This?" over the perfection of Jesus and this gorgeous story that I keep digging into and finding more and more treasure. ESPECIALLY in the light of my studies in the Old Testament this year...Jesus...in every story...I might feel perhaps like the elder men who wept as the Word was brought home to the temple and read again...weeping and weeping over this Truth that continues to grow in brightness and clarity and adoration in my heart. I peer again into all the stories pointing to Jesus, my Messiah and say, "What is This Glory? What IS all this Beauty? What is this suffering and sacrifice? What IS all of this love? What HAVE I an invitation into??"
At the same time, in our life circumstances, we are being drawn into very special opportunities to fellowship with God by how we work with our hands. A great focus will be bringing restoration to the broken...rescue to those literally enslaved...we are getting more and more knowledge of how God wants to connect us and use us in ministry related to His heart of love and we get breathless and say, "What is this honor? to go after what you love , to search for your sheep? and to see You set them on your broad shoulders to bring them home? What is all this rescue and deliverance for the One. For the Many? That you plan to include us in? We are so small...what is all of this??"
So I sat there in my seat weeping and asking and just letting all of the story of Jesus and the glory of God's goodness pour over me AGAIN. And when Natalie sang,
"Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother." It had fresh meaning ...to a modern day abolitionist heart...I saw the eyes in a thousand faces...I heard their voices crying out...
"And in His Name ALL Oppression Shall BREAK!."
A resounding "YES" rose up...on the outside I was sitting properly...on the inside I was having a Davidic meltdown of great proportions.
Calling out VICTORY in JESUS!!
And Falling in Love with my Savior, who has broken MY chains...ALL over again.
At Intermission two sets of little hands shook me back to my settings....
"Mommy, may we have these ones?"
They handed me World Vision brochures of precious,
"May we have these, Mommy?"
And in the bustle of people filing out to stretch and find the snack stands...
Richard leans over to my chair to hear the request,
We read the stories of these ones and say yes to them.
And our Ava and Bruik start dancing WILDLY around...
The reaction doesn't quite fit what we are doing...UNTIL we realize...they think these faces...
placed on brochures on our chairs are EACH a child to adopt.
And they believe we have JUST said YES to three more children in our family!!!!
And there in the second row...
We both kneel down with our children who most understand these themes of rescue...of redemption...
And we place our foreheads on theirs....we look deep into their eyes and pause.
A young teen girl is now leaning forward in her seat to check out our family and people are awkwardly taking in side glances...
For now, Richard's weeping...and..
We are just a MESS there.
A holy mess.
We hold our "newest charges" close to our hearts and covenant to care for them...and keep the door wide open for other little ones to walk through the door of our home...
Bruik and Ava seem disappointed that we are not adding three more to our car ride home...Ava had already been making bed arrangements for her room!
But we pray there....in the midst of the lights blinking for people to return to their seats ..and we covenant to love well...with HIS love and in HIS strength and in HIS timing.
The rest of the concert hold other glorious moments.
But the greatest of these are in the finale as Bruik stands up and comes to the back of my chair and hugs my neck until his mouth is right near my ear. He thinks he is whispering, but this is not a talent he has mastered yet...so he SHOUTS in my ear,
"Mommy I do not think I ever really ASKED Jesus to be mine. I want to do that RIGHT now."
In the midst of this concert, in the images of the Nativity and Love and Deliverance
Salvation is birthing
And my heart is saying, "What IS all this glory?"
"That you and your household WILL be saved?"
"What is this? What is this? What IS this??"
And another star "that shines in the the darkness" forever
Is born that night.
O Night Divine!
That God would save my little boy, deliver his heart on this night.
Another candle is lit...on the Jesse Tree
And he and HIS family will be saved
Salvation is the greatest of ornaments on God's Family Christmas Tree.
And I take in all its light and beauty saying,
"What is all of this?"