Tuesday, January 23, 2007

To Think I Have Anything

In the middle of winter it is sometimes fun to relive summer's best memories. I was recently replaying one of my favorite summer memories that was formed during a camping trip to Maine in 2005.

The memory starts on an early Sunday morning when Nathaniel, Hannah and I woke up to watch the sun break its first rays over the ocean. The walk on the stone path up the breakwater and back was breathtaking. The lighthouse at the end of the breakwater was gorgeous and we all stopped to sit on some slippery rocks for some morning reflections. Arriving back on land, we decided to pick up some bagels before finding a place to attend church. The bagels were delicious and there was a church that was conveniently close to the bagel shop. We parked my car in the church parking lot only to realize that we had locked the keys in the ignition. Thankfully, we realized that I had stowed away a magnetic key holder under the trunk for times such as these.

Relieved, we went into the church. It was small and the congregants greeted us warmly. The time of worship was reverent and peaceful. Toward the end of the service it was announced that there would be a special sharing. A middle-age man, with long dark hair held in a ponytail and a rather gruff-looking first appearance made his way to the front of the church. It became evident that he had prepared a song to sing for us. The music to "Much of You" by Steven Curtis Chapman began to play and the man in the motorcycle attire started to sing. His voice was off-key and I began to feel nervous for him that he may be embarrassed. My feelings were short-lived, however, upon realizing that his heart was not at all in the appearance of the situation. In fact, by the time that cues for the second verse* had been initiated, he was not singing at all. He was weeping and managing whatever words that could break through his tears. Through the intermittent and choked strains, my ears witnessed one of the most beautiful songs of worship that has ever been sung. Nathaniel, Hannah and I left that service quite moved that the love of God can break through the toughest skinned person to teach us that the Spirit of God dwells with the broken and contrite of heart. What a good summer memory.

*And how can I kneel here
And think of the cross
The thorns and the whip and the
Nails and the spear
The infinite cost
To purchase my pardon
And bear all my shame
To think I have anything worthy boasting in
Except for Your name
Cause I am a sinner
And You are the Savior and...

I want to make much of You, Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today and give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of you