Welcome to Songs of Salvation!
Join Christian authors as they share their "Songs of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
Authors, find out how to share your Song of Salvation here.
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
Revelation 12:11 NLT
The Gift of Presence
A song shared at eventide
Lingers past the dawn.
I found a scrap of paper with these words in my parent’s files. My father’s life was filled with singing hymns. It is what I recall from my childhood. The old pump organ in the living room vibrated against my bedroom wall as dad played and sang. He wasn’t a good organist but his lyric tenor voice was a joy to hear. Today, I often wake to a hymn lingering in my subconscious.
Other things are hidden in my mind’s crevasses. A word fitly spoken by a woman named Salome, a Kenyan saint who served me pancakes and wisdom on a rainy Monday morning. She advised that we embrace the hurting. It was a ministry she lived. Her body, crippled by elephantiasis, hiked to the hospital every day so she could serve chai to the patients and staff. Her presence brought peace. As the rain splattered mud on our legs, my friend and I sat under a large shade tree, eating a pancake and being blessed by Salome’s tender smile.
Another’s words remain with me after many years. Words of encouragement and insight. Jill Briscoe spoke on a hot summer day in West Michigan and she opened my heart to His gift of presence.
In the dark places of my life, when life has brought unexpected pain, loss, and emotional frailty, God reveals His abiding care. It is a continual lesson, the knowledge of His presence when overwhelming pain and suffering make us shrink into ourselves. The valley times, where doubt shadows pierce our lives, He is there. And, He sends His people to be with us. We’ve sat with friends who’ve wept with us as our dreams dissolved.
When we’ve worked in Africa or Asia, my husband calls it being the hands and feet of Jesus. But my hands are scarred. Scarred from man’s fall and from my selfish choices. One day while in Kenya, I reluctantly turned from my cooking to answering the door. A mother and daughter needed a cup of water during the drought. My heart wasn’t soft as I looked into thirsty eyes longing for His water that satisfies. Seeing a grateful smile given to my ungrateful soul, I repented and longed for a heart more like His.
Interruptions assault me daily. As they did the Master. His hands are scarred too. But not by His sin, but mine. And He reaches out with his gift of presence to live with us. He calls me to do the same.
For those of us who are doers it is easier to perform than to wait. To be still shatters a hard place in me. To have hands that offer nothing but a gentle touch or a cup of water seems to miss the mark, but perhaps that is His direction for this day. To sleep on the floor of your sick child’s room or to hold the hand of your beloved mother as she is dying, is enough. Because, in your touch is His. In your comfort you acknowledge His love.
All of His children come bearing His name into a broken world. God’s people bring hope when they point to His love, they bring peace when they sit with us and pray, and in the end, they encourage our faith as we see God in the little things. The washing of dirty dishes, bringing us a meal when we are limping with shingles, or holding our hands as we release a loved one into eternity. For we, His people, bring His love.
It is enough to stand in prayer as someone takes their last breath. It is enough to listen to a story of a lonely heart longing for meaning.
Sometimes we are the ones tapped by the Lord to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. He did. At Lazarus’ grave. Sometimes we are called to unwrap those who are bound, as Jesus asked the disciples to unwrap four-days-in-the-grave Lazarus.
What does His love call for us to do this moment in time?