We want to boil it down compact, terse, package it up in a little jar, condense all that light into a bottled torch somehow meant to keep on shining despite the smothering lid sealed overtop.

But it defies us, appears, teasing, like glitters on the air, then ducks into shadows, peeks around corners of the past, whispering, “I was there, in these fragments, long ago… Long before you ‘came to faith,’ I, Faith, came to you, in budding little manifestations. When you think about it, you’ll remember bits and pieces.”

And I do…

When I knelt beside that bed in my “feets-in” pajamas and prayed “the Lord my soul to keep,” I know I meant it, that I believed.

Then, later, why did I sit my little brother with me on that hill above the creek that ran as crooked-convoluted as my life did later, to read to him the Sermon on the Mount and other gospel words?

And on the Christmastides, one or two, when we all gathered round to open gifts— with Mom and Dad (heads of household), “Maw-Maw,” and “Paw-Paw” (former “minister”)—why was it 11- or 12-yr old me who wanted everyone to wait till we (really, I, by default) read Luke’s Christmas story, and they all complied and humored me—me, the later agnostic, self-labeled?

And those two VBS series I attended: It intrigues me now that all I remember about them is my mother striping an old sheet to fashion a “Bible times” costume, and Psalm 24 and Psalm 100  – two passages we worked to memorize. And how is it that those verses stayed anchored in me, through all those slippery times when you’d think they’d slide right out heart’s door?

And why did that single sermon I heard in my late-teen-skepticism years affect me so, that I believed its foolish promise, that if you trusted God and sought His kingdom and righteousness, He’d supply all your needs? Me, the skeptic, who already wrestled doubts growing larger year by year! Why did that sermon also linger in me, clasped by some subconscious lock, ready to spring some fifteen long years later, to become the exciting adventure of my life, when I tried God by obedience and learned the yes, that what I “foolishly” believed back then was true!

I can only say He was there all along, drawing me, just as He says He does (John 12:32). Giving increase to meager seeds tucked into the darkened soil of my understanding, even with the little watering they got in all those desert years. I can neither analyze nor explain it, but that it was about grace, about Him, and certainly not about me.

What a merciful Savior!

Singing in my heart this morning, “For the beauty of the earth. For the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies, Lord of all to Thee [I] raise, this [my] hymn of grateful praise.”


Linked to…

Beholding Glory