Sunday, February 23, 2014

Give me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

When I am alone,
When I am alone,
When I am alone,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

When I come to die,
When I come to die,
When I come to die,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

listen to Jeremy Camp
this one is good, too - live so you can hear people talking, etc.


I told our Sunday School class a couple of weeks ago that I was dry as a bone spiritually.  I was looking forward to working Alabama Emmaus Walk 425 this weekend with lots of friends.  Because I teach and facilitate, I tend to push myself . . .giving all I have . . .until I am depleted.  At that point, I usually need a big dose of God . . .I get some along . . .try to spend time with him every day . . .I try to pray continually . ..and live close to HIM but sometimes . . . sometimes I think I step away.  I think it is when I am tired. 

Anyway, back to the story at hand.  I planned to be immersed in the Holy Spirit for 72 straight hours this weekend - away from phones and TV's and computers.  I planned to be there for all 41 pilgrims (those attending the weekend) but I also know from past experiences that God ALWAYS meets me where I am on an Emmaus Walk.

So this week, my plans were not HIS plans.  Nancy died on Tuesday and her visitation was scheduled for Friday night and her service was scheduled for Saturday.  I had to make a very hard phone call to Teresa, the Lay Director for the walk.  I knew without a shadow of doubt that I HAD TO BE HOME for the services.  Not only was Nancy my friend . . .but she was family . . . close family.  As Mark said -- he and Nance (that is what he called her) were more like siblings than first cousins. 

The visitation was on Friday night.  It was to begin at six p.m. and we got there about a quarter til six . . .there was already a line.  We went around the line to the parlor and found our place where Nathan (Nancy's husband) wanted us to stand.  We smiled and hugged people and more people came and more people came.  We were so worried about Nancy's girls.  Yes, they are now grown young women . . .and they are so poised . . .and they smiled . . . and cried . . .Almost all of the family was able to attend.  Our nephews were not able to come from Delaware and two of Nancy's nephews from out of state were unable to attend.  One other cousin's young adult children were unable to attend . . .but everyone else was there . . .and there are a lot of us.  Yes, I say "US" even though biologically "they" would be Mark's family.  After 30 years, they are my family, too. 

For most of Friday and Friday night, I felt numb.  Plain and simple.

The strangest thing happened on Saturday, though.  We are blessed (and I mean that) to attend a church where most things are done with excellence and more importantly, for the glory of God.  We processed in - all six or seven long pews of us (there really are a lot of us).  The orchestra played - I'm sure it was beautiful.  I couldn't make eye contact with anyone for fear of losing it.  I did glance up . . .and even the balcony was full.  Our children's minister talked about Nancy and her years of service . . .one of the Nursing School people talked about Nancy's career and THEN TWO OF HER daughters spoke.  OH MY GOODNESS.  They did an awesome job.  Nancy cared about everyone.  She always wanted to know about us. . .even that visit right at the end where Mark and I were able to go - she wanted to hear all about the family.  The point is  . . . all of that part of the service was good - beautiful and fitting.

BUT THEN IT HAPPENED.  The sanctuary choir sang (both Nancy and Nathan were in the sanctuary choir . . .as a matter of fact, Nancy sang in two performances of the Messiah on December 1.  How could that be???).  Anyway, God has spoken often to me through music.  Our choir director, Scott, always wants the music to be for the glory of God.  Remember back at the first of this long and rambling post . . .I was dry as a bone spiritually . . .I was looking forward to working an Emmaus walk so that I could refuel?  God did something amazing - as he often does.  The choir started to sing "Give Me Jesus."  I could feel the whisper - here I AM, Lisa.  I AM here.  Drink it in.  I wept.  Mark wept.  My brother-in-law, Bob, wept.  I doubt there were many dry eyes in that sanctuary.  The voices of those choir members swirled through the sanctuary on the breath of the Holy Spirit.  Our senior minister, Andy spoke then . . .and he spoke words of life and hope and love and grief and he spoke words of GOD!

But God wasn't finished.  No, he wasn't finished.  I AM was still in the building.  We have this incredible new prayer garden/columbarium that I have shared with you before (because I helped!!).  I knew the way through the building to come into the back of the garden and so we were designated to get Aunt Mary (Nancy's momma) into her wheelchair (she is 90 and beautiful) and down the elevator and through the building and out into the prayer garden/columbarium.  We hustled . . .I think George did a few wheelies (nancy would have laughed!!).  The rest of the family was already there waiting on us.  We stopped at the edge of the family . . .and I took a deep breath and looked up . . . and around (I'm starting to cry again as I type this) . . .and oh my goodness . . .there were people in the breezeway and along the fence and in the windows of the church - WE WERE SURROUNDED BY A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES.  Hebrews 12:1 -- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

At THAT VERY MOMENT, a soft breeze blew through the columbarium . . .and I said to God (not out loud), "Thank you, God, you sent your Holy Spirit."

Now I am full . . .I am sad . . .I am heartbroken . . .but I am full because give me Jesus - any day - any way . . .Give me Jesus.  Oh Nancy - I am going to miss you sooooo much.  I just can't even fathom how much . . .but you are with Jesus.  You ran your race with perseverance.  Give me Jesus.  Give me Jesus.  Give me Jesus.  You can have all this world.  Just give me Jesus.

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