broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sacred Moments

Dear friends,

I do not use the word “sacred” lightly. I reserve this word for those times when God Himself demonstrates His presence in ways that are so far beyond our human comprehension that they can ONLY be attributed to God.

My wife is out of town on business this week, so my youngest daughter Kristen graciously volunteered to “take care of Dad”. We’ve had a marvelous time together. Kristen comes, as young mothers often do, with two little ones in tow – my grandchildren Jackson, 3, and Aurora Lilias, just 7 months old. Because of them, this week has been a virtual love fest for “Papa”.

I have developed a habit with all 5 of my grandchildren, that before they leave to go home after a visit, I gather them in my arms and pray for them – not in a big group, but while the rest of life goes on around us, I pray for them, with them, one-on-one. I wish I’d have been smart enough to have done this with my own kids as they were growing up. Sure we had family devotions every morning before school and I prayed for and with them lots of times, but this habit of praying while in a big bear hug is a very special time for both grandchild and grandpa. These are surely sacred moments.

Because I could this week, on several occasions as Jackson would be walking by, I’d just scoop him up (giggling and wiggling all the while), give him a big bear hug complete with sound effects, we would blow air kisses at each other, we’d give each other one more growling bear hug and then I’d put him down. Talk about putting a smile on BOTH of our faces!

But for the past two days something new has been added. I still scoop him up wiggling and giggling and we still give bear hugs with sound effects, but Jackson has begun to ask, “Papa, will you pray for me?” Are you kidding! We stop the world so Papa can pray for Jackson, then we blow air kisses at each other, give each other one more big growling bear hug, and off he scoots. I prayed for him at least 6 times yesterday. Sacred moments.

But last night, as they were preparing to go home and we went through our little routine, somewhere in the middle of my praying for Jackson I heard him whispering. So, while words and thoughts were coming out of my mouth I listened, and Jackson was saying, “Yes, Jesus … [pause] … yes, Lord”. Apparently, he had heard either me or his Mom, or maybe someone at church, agreeing while someone else was praying, and he was practicing praying as he had heard it done.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I continued praying, and when I got to the end, I laid my hand on Jackson’s head, as I do for all my grandchildren and as I have done in countless dedication services through the years, and prayed the blessing of Almighty God on him. That’s when I heard him whisper “And bless my Papa, too, Jesus”. I barely squeaked out “In Jesus’ name” and we said simultaneously “Amen”. I got my bear hug and air kisses and off to home he went.

Sacred moment indeed! It was as if the Almighty Himself had come to stay in my little house in Columbus. Ever since last night I get the strange feeling that if I go through a doorway too fast there will be a couple angels around the corner hugging each other with happy tears in their eyes. Or if I should go to the kitchen without warning there might be a couple of them dancing the jig in front of my refrigerator while high fiving each other.

Even at this moment I sense that if I turned around quickly right here in my office that I’d find a small band of angels kneeling with arms and hands raised in praise to the Almighty One whose presence fills this place. It would appear to me that Almighty God, Maker and Creator of universes, Sustainer of life itself, and Ruler of all that is, listened when a 3-year-old prayed His blessing on a fellow in a wheelchair. Yesterday I dealt with nearly unbearable pain, but I slept better last night than I have in months. While eating my bowl of Special K this morning I had the wondrous sense that I was wrapped in the arms of my Savior and it was going to be OK. Special K never did THAT before, so it must be the blessing of God because of the prayer of a child.

“Oh, God, make my prayers that effective when I’m praying for them!”

And my prayer for you is that somewhere along this road you are traveling God will pull back the curtain that separates mortal from immortal and that you, too, will experience a truly “sacred moment”. It will transform the mundane into the magnificent, the ordinary into the extraordinary, and your pain into praise.

Basking in God’s blessing today,


Blogger Sam said...

Every once in a while I read your stuff, and I start crying. Tonight is one of those times. Thanks Dad for the special word-picture!

Blogger Swedish Mama said...

I have a wonderful godly husband.


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