Friday, March 30, 2018
I Can Truly Imagine
I want so much for my children. I want them to have good health, happiness, and blessings. More than anything, I want them to know what a relationship with Jesus is like. They were brought up in an era that questions everything. And questions can be a good or bad thing. But they also seem to be a little more skeptical of what is holy and good sometimes. They seem to confusion religion with what really is relationship.
I can't blame them because our faith always taught us that doing good and being good would earn eternal points. God seemed like a big nasty teacher, one that would pounce on you and give you a good smack with his almighty ruler when you got the answer to one of His questions wrong.
The God I've come to know is nothing like that. I am so grateful for my church's messages and music and how they've shown me what a loving God's grace is all about. Prayer is so very real to me now, and it's something that I cannot go a day without. My conversations with God are friendly and real. I can speak with Him about everything that is in my heart or on my mind.
This Easter I wanted to do something special with my son. I thought we could go to the Good Friday church service together. It had been a very long time that he'd come with me to church. He agreed to dinner and church, and I secretly glowed. But then something else hit me strongly. That nudging of the Holy Spirit. The new movie "I Can Only Imagine" is playing in our local theaters right now too, and I wondered if perhaps this was more of what I was looking for with my son. Visuals seem to resonate strongly with him. He had loved the movie "The Shack" and gotten much from it, he had said. So I gave him the choice: dinner and church, or dinner and an inspirational movie. He chose the movie.
If you haven't seen it, may I suggest "I Can Only Imagine." It's a true story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of Mercy Me. His journey was difficult at the hands of an abusive father. He could not realize his talent and passion until he came to grips with some very hard truths. This movie was real and powerful. Though we may not have suffered abuse as this man did, we all have our own areas of pain and suffering. My own was with my mother's mental illness when I was a child. All of a sudden it hit me; I should write more from my heart and pain. Not to make my mother look bad, but to make God shine. This is what Bart Millard did: he was able to tell a story, but not glorify the bad so much as give glory to the One who can make all things--all people, new.
When the movie was over, my son leaned over and said, "Wow, that was amazing. Everyone should see this movie. You didn't tell me it was a tear jerker, though." I glowed. This one-on-one moment with my son was priceless. Being able to discuss the Lord for a few minutes with him, and for him to have sat there in awe as the story unfolded before us, showed me that God had indeed answered my prayer for the day. I don't know my son's heart. And I worry that he isn't where I think he should be in a walk with God. But God assures me in the quietness of my soul, that all is well. He has everything in the palm of His hand. It will be His timing, not mine.
Today, another seed was planted. God will water it with His word. And I can only imagine where the journey will lead.
(Top photo courtesy of David Hoffman)